Did you know that, according to AARP, 77% of seniors want to stay in their homes and communities as they age? These older adults mean it when they say, “There’s no place like home.”
If you have a senior living with you or are if you are a family caregiver for an older adult living with you, your loved one’s safety at home is of paramount importance. Their mobility may not be what it was a few years back, and possibly their sense of balance as well. These are prime reasons why 3 million seniors are treated each year in emergency rooms for injuries suffered from a fall.
At Seniors Prefer Homecare, we spend our days helping seniors stay safe at home. Here are five home safety hacks for seniors that we believe will help you breathe easier knowing your loved one’s chances of falling or getting injured are reduced.
1. Remove Hazards
Many falls occur because of hazards, such as unsecured throw rugs, furniture placed in the senior’s walking path (like footstools, tables, etc.), electric and extension cords, and loose railing on outdoor steps and indoor stairways.
2. Install Safety and Accessibility Equipment
Once the obvious hazards are removed, bathroom safety needs to be addressed since there are so many mishaps because of wet tiles and floors causing slips and falls.
These are some new materials you can add and modifications you can make: place non-slip strips in bathtubs and showers, add grips or grab bars by showers and toilets for added stability, place a waterproof seat in the shower, and consider replacing the standard toilet seat with a model that has a high profile and raised seat.
In other areas of your home, replace doorknobs with lever handles that are easier than turning a doorknob for many seniors, install nightlights in hallways and between bedrooms and bathrooms, and make sure all of the rooms and stairways in your home are well lit.
3. Invest in a Medical Alert System
This is a must-have if your senior is alone in the home and has a medical emergency. Most models are easy to use and involve pushing a button to contact emergency services no matter where they are in the home.
4. Install a Security System
Having a security system will give you and your senior peace of mind safeguarding against intruders. Many security companies can also install cameras in various rooms of your home so you can check in on your loved one from time to time. And, don’t forget to install a smart doorbell with a camera to record outdoor activity and for you or your loved one to get a look at who just rang the bell.
5. Keep a Fire Extinguisher in the Kitchen
About half of all house fires start in the kitchen. Unfortunately, accidents happen, and older adults sometimes forget to turn off burners on the stove. Show your loved one where the fire extinguisher is kept and demonstrate how to use it.
Bonus: Senior Safety Tips and Tricks
Here are some additional ways you can help your loved one age safely in place:
- Regularly test smoke detectors and change their batteries twice a year (or as recommended).
- Don’t leave lit candles unattended.
- Regularly review exactly what they’ll do in case of an emergency. Conduct fire drills or other safety drills a few times per year.
- Keep a list of emergency phone numbers handy.
- If possible, have them sleep on the ground floor of your home for an easy exit in case of an emergency.
- Consider using services that offer daily check-ins on seniors.
We Can Help Seniors With Safety at Home!
Seniors Prefer Homecare provides the highest quality home care in Huntsville and Tuscaloosa. When you have us visit for a free consultation, we’d be happy to talk with you about keeping y