Tips to Make your Home Safer for Seniors
With age comes not only wisdom, but a variety of changes to one’s physical capabilities.
In many cases, these changes can greatly reduce your independence and mobility, which makes it important for seniors to have their homes properly modified in order to ensure that they remain safe from hazards such as falls.
Fortunately, through a few simple steps, you can make any home safer for your aging family member so that they don’t have to live in fear of being injured in their own home.
Keep reading for some tips on how you can make your home as safe as possible!
What Are Common Safety Concerns for Seniors?
Having a safe home environment helps promote better overall health, comfort, security and quality of life for seniors who are aging in place.
Falls are some of the greatest safety concerns for seniors when they are in their homes. Slips, trips, and falls account for the bulk of household injuries among aging adults and can lead to serious consequences such as hospitalization or even death.
Not only that, but seniors must be mindful of the potential danger posed by common household items such as stepping into an unseen extension cord or becoming tangled in a rug.
How to Modify Your Home So It’s Safe For Seniors
As your parents or grandparents age, they may require more assistance to get around the house. Modifying their home so that it is safe and comfortable becomes increasingly important.
By following some simple tips below, you can easily modify your loved one’s home so it is suitable for senior living.
Bathroom Safety Tips
One of the most important rooms in the house when it comes to senior safety is the bathroom. It’s important to install grab bars near toilets, showers, and bathtubs so that seniors have something sturdy to hold onto as they are getting in and out of those areas. Installing non-slip flooring options is also important because falls can be dangerous.
Good lighting is also essential for safety. Adding extra lighting throughout the house will help seniors see better and decrease their risk of falling.
Finally, if possible, install hands-free faucets so that you don’t have to worry about having to twist knobs if your hands become weak from arthritis or other conditions.
Kitchen Safety Tips
One of the simplest and most effective ways to make your kitchen safer is to move commonly used items to lower shelves. This could include everything from spices and condiments to non-perishable food items and utensils.
By making these items easier to access, you can reduce the risk of slips and falls while also making life easier for those who may have difficulty reaching higher shelves.
Another great way to modify your kitchen is by installing a stove knob guard. These guards are designed to fit around the knobs on your stove or oven and prevent them from being accidentally turned on or off by someone who isn’t familiar with how they work.
This can help ensure that seniors don’t accidentally start a fire or injure themselves while trying to use the stove or oven.
Finally, adding a reach extender for high cabinets can be an easy way to improve safety in the kitchen.
Reach extenders are designed specifically for this purpose and can be easily attached onto existing cabinets so that it’s easier (and safer) to access items stored out of reach. Reach extenders come in a variety of shapes and sizes so you should be able to find one that fits your needs.
Bedroom Safety Tips
When it comes to bedroom safety, one of the most important things you can do is install bed rails.
Bed rails serve two purposes – firstly, they provide additional support for someone when getting in and out of bed. Also, they act as a barrier between the senior and the floor in case they have a fall from their bed. When looking into bed rails, it’s important to make sure they are installed securely and properly so that there is no risk of them breaking or coming loose during use.
Another important bedroom safety tip is to adjust the height of your senior’s bed so that it is at an appropriate level for them. This will help reduce the risk of falls during activities like getting in and out of bed or transferring from one side of the bed to another.
The goal should be to make sure that their feet are able to touch the floor while they are sitting on the edge of the bed and that their knees aren’t bent too much when standing up from a seated position next to their bed.
Whole House Safety Tips
Many seniors struggle with mobility, making it difficult for them to traverse stairs without assistance. Installing a stairlift can make all the difference when it comes to making your home more senior-friendly. Stairlifts are designed to safely transport people up and down stairs, ensuring that seniors never have to worry about falling or getting injured while navigating their way around the house.
It’s also important that all fixtures and appliances in the home work properly to ensure safety for everyone. Make sure to replace any worn out or outdated fixtures and appliances such as smoke detectors, fire alarms, and grab bars with new ones that meet safety standards. This is especially important in older homes.
Consider adding motion-activated lights or nightlights so that seniors don’t have to worry about turning on switches in the dark. If possible, try adding natural light sources like windows or skylights to brighten up darker corners of the house as well.
An open floor plan can also help with senior safety by eliminating obstacles and trip hazards that can occur in tighter spaces. Removing clutter from pathways and hallways is especially important since seniors may be more prone to falls due to decreased mobility and balance issues.
Consider rearranging furniture if necessary so that it creates a more open environment for you to walk through safely.
As we age, our homes should adjust with us to create a safe haven. By following these tips, you can help your elderly loved ones live independently and happily in their home for as long as possible.
Senior safety is important, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to achieve. A few small modifications can make a big difference in the quality of life for your aging loved ones.