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Home Safety for Seniors

Home Safety for Seniors
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Did you know that older adults 65+ are the ones most at risk when it comes to falls? In fact, according to the CDC, one out of every four seniors fall each year. Falling can cause broken bones or head injuries that can make it hard for a person to get around, do everyday activities, or live independently.

Aging in place has become more popular over the years. Homes bring a sense of security, familiarity and continued feeling of independence. But, is your home free from hazards that could result in a fall? Below are a list of potential dangers to look out for when it comes to keeping you or your senior loved one safe in their home for years to come.

Remove fall hazards:

  • Throw rugs – these types of rugs don’t usually have a good grip on the floor which creates a way for someone to trip over them.
  • Clutter – throw away piled up newspapers, mail, clothing and any old furniture that you may have. If you or an older adult use a walker or wheelchair, having the open space is better for mobility and access around the home.
  • Extension cords – remove any that you may not need. If extension cords are needed. try and secure them close or to the wall to prevent tripping over them.

Keep cell phone simple (if they need it) and keep emergency numbers handy:

  • Cell phone – if you see yourself or a loved one having difficulty using a cell phone, opt for a simpler phone. Look at phones with larger keypads and screens, making it easier to use.
  • 911
  • Friends and family that live close by that could help with immediate assistance.
  • Caregivers
  • Medical doctors / offices

Remove potential fire hazards from all rooms:

  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors – make sure to change the batteries regularly. A good rule of thumb is to change the batteries after every time change.
  • Electric cords – look for any frayed or damaged cords and replace if needed.
  • Space heaters – forgetting to turn off a space heater can cause a fire. Instead, opt for an automatic one that turns on and off.

Ensure a safe bathroom:

  • Grab bars – installing these by the toilet or in the shower can help provide safety.
  • Rubber mats – place these in front of the bath or shower to prevent slips when getting in and out.
  • AmeriGlide walk in tub – consider replacing the current bath or shower with one of our walk-in tubs. These allow you or your senior loved one to get in and out of the shower easily and reduce the risk of falling from having over the ledge of a tub. More information on walk-in tubs can be found here.
  • Raised toilet seat – having a higher toilet seat lets seniors to sit and stand easier.
  • Nightlight – if you or a loved one take a lot of trips to the bathroom during the night, installing a nightlight will help illuminate the bathroom and make it easier to navigate around the bathroom.

Asses lighting throughout home:

  • Replace burn out light bulbs – older eyes do not always work as well as younger ones. Replacing these lights will help keep the home full of light, making it easier to see.

Take a look around the kitchen:

  • Keep kitchen appliances low – if anything is at a high height, put them at a lower level where you or a senior can reach. 
  • Discard unused items – clearing up clutter in the kitchen will make space for those higher level items or appliances that need to come down. This will also allow for easy access to items.
  • Step stool – if items need to be reached at higher heights, get a step stool with only 1 or 2 steps on it.
  • Single lever handles – sometimes twist and turn knobs are harder for seniors to use. Consider replacing them with single lever handles.

Consider the stairs:

  • Test stair rails – test the sturdiness of each hand rail and make sure that its secure. Unsteadiness on the stairs can lead to falls.
  • AmeirGlide mobility equipment – stairs are the number one place where seniors can fall. By having an AmeriGlide mobility device installed in or outside of your home, you can eliminate the worry of falling on the stairs. We have plenty of options when it comes to stair safety:
    • stair lifts
    • vertical platform lifts
    • elevators
    • dumbwaiters
  • Clear the stairs – keep obstructions off of the stairs. If outside, make sure to shovel and clear any snow where there are stairs to reduce your chance of slipping.
Horizon Plus Stair Lift Image

Looking to increase the safety in your home or in the home of a senior loved one? Contact us today and see what mobility equipment options best fit your needs. 1-800-987-6308

Sources for this post:
https://homecareassistance.com/blog/home-safety-tips-for-seniors
https://www.cdc.gov/falls/facts.html