Check Out These Important Home Safety Tips for Seniors
Keeping an aging parent safe is no easy job. With these home safety tips for seniors, you can keep your parent out of harm’s way.
About 25 percent of Americans over the age of 65 fall at home at least once over the course of a given year.
These falls result in almost 3 million injuries that require hospital visits and about 27,000 deaths.
If you have a senior in your life that still lives at home, you should make an effort to keep them as safe as possible. There are senior home safety tips you can put into place to prevent them from falling and sustaining injuries.
Doing something as simple as cleaning up the floor once a week and removing any potential obstacles from it can make a huge difference.
Here are 7 tips that will increase senior home safety for your loved one.
1. Provide Seniors With Walking Aids
Mobility is a big issue for a lot of people over the age of 65. Doing something as routine as walking from the living room to the kitchen can present all sorts of problems and lead to an accident.
If your parent or other loved one can’t walk as well as they used to, you should think about providing them with a walking aid.
Walking aids will allow seniors to maintain their balance as they attempt to make it from point A to point B. It will also give them something to lean on if they need to stop and take a break while walking.
2. Encourage Seniors to Stand Up and Sit Down Slowly
Even if you set the senior in your life up with a walking aid, there’s a chance they could still fall and sustain an injury while getting up off a couch or sitting down in a chair.
Often times, seniors will try to move too quickly when getting up or sitting down. You should talk to them about this and encourage them to slow down and take their time.
When they slow down, they’ll give their bodies time to adjust and maintain their balance as they stand or sit. This will reduce the chances of them falling to the floor and being unable to get back up.
3. Make Sure All Stairs, Inside and Outside, Have Sturdy Handrails
Ideally, seniors shouldn’t live inside of homes that have stairs. Even just one or two steps at a time can be too much for some seniors to take.
But if they insist on living in a home with stairs, you should, at the very least, make sure those stairs are equipped with sturdy handrails.
Far too often, handrails inside and outside of homes are loose and don’t provide people with much support when they grab on to them. If your senior starts to fall down the steps and goes to grab a handrail, it could end up coming right out of the wall and toppling down the stairs with them.
By going around with a screwdriver and tightening up handrails, you can make it easier for seniors to get up and down stairs. You can also prevent the handrails themselves from causing injuries.
4. Place High-Wattage Light Bulbs Into Light Fixtures
This is one of the home safety tips that people don’t always consider. As long as a home has lighting in it, they assume seniors will be able to see just fine.
But aging can really take a toll on a person’s eyesight. In fact, studies have shown that about 7 million people over the age of 65 have trouble seeing. And that number is expected to double by the time 2030 rolls around.
With that in mind, you should replace the light bulbs in a senior’s home now with high-wattage light bulbs that will make it easier for them to see. 100-watt light bulbs would probably be best and will provide all the light that seniors will need.
5. Outfit Bathrooms With the Necessary Safety Features
Bathrooms are usually the most dangerous rooms inside of a home for seniors. There are so many ways in which they can injure themselves while using the bathroom or taking a shower.
You can make bathrooms in a senior’s home safer by:
Installing bathroom aides inside of the bathtub and next to the toilet
Making the bathtub skid-proof and placing a non-slip mat down inside of it
Removing locks from the doors
Encouraging seniors to wait until someone else is in their home before bathing
Some seniors will resist the changes made to their bathroom spaces. But it’s for their own good and will prevent them from injuring themselves when they’re in the bathroom.
6. Set Up a Medical Alert System
If the senior in your life fell while they were at home and no one was around to help them up, what would they do?
Unfortunately, many families don’t have a plan in place that accounts for accidental falls like this. As a result, some seniors are left to lie on the floor in pain for hours and, in some cases, even days after sustaining a fall.
You should set up an easy-to-use medical alert system for seniors you know. These systems will allow them to contact help if they’re ever involved in an accident.
7. Consider Hiring Someone to Help Seniors With Daily Tasks
Most seniors are incapable of doing the daily tasks that need to be done around their homes.
If you know a senior who falls into this category, you should think about hiring someone to help them out.
There are companies that can send someone to help with:
When you provide a senior with help, they won’t have to be moving around all the time. It will help them avoid accidents that could lead to injuries.
Follow These Home Safety Tips to Keep Your Loved One Protected
These are just a few of the home safety tips you should keep in mind when caring for a senior.
By following them, you’ll put your mind at ease and know that you’re doing everything in your power to keep your loved one safe.
Check out our blog for more tips on providing safe care for your aging parents or other seniors in your life.