Many seniors decide to age in place so they can maintain their independence, stay closer to loved ones, save money, and enjoy the comfortable environment they’re used to. While remaining at home during the golden years comes with many benefits, senior homes often pose significant safety risks.
This is particularly true when they don’t take the proper steps to eliminate hazards and create a senior-friendly environment. By following this home safety checklist, older adults can significantly increase the safety of their homes.
Be Mindful of Surfaces
Every walking surface in a senior’s home, regardless of its carpet, tile, or hardwood must be flat and slip resistant. It should also be in optimal condition and free of objects like electrical cords, furniture, and boxes. Uneven, slippery, and cluttered surfaces can lead to falls and other injuries.
Invest in Automatic Shut Off Features
Even though automatic shut off features on ranges, ovens, and other appliances are pricey, they are often well worth it, especially for older adults who are forgetful or living with dementia. These devices can automatically turn off after a certain period and reduce the risk of fires and other serious hazards.
Ensure Adequate Lighting
Adequate lighting is vital during the day and evening. It’s a good idea to install remote controlled or automated night lights and place large lamps on both sides of a senior’s bed to increase visibility at night. Also, place light switches at the tops and bottoms of stairs and replace standard bulbs with fluorescent options that can make rooms brighter.
Give the Bathroom a Makeover
There’s no denying that the bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in a senior’s home. To boost its safety, install grab bars beside the toilet and in the shower and/or bathtub. Add a chair to the shower and/or tub as well as rubber mats to prevent slipping. In addition, replace an ordinary toilet seat with a raised seat with handle bars to make sitting down and standing up easier.
Stick to One Floor Living
In a perfect world, seniors would have no stairs in their home. If they do live in a multi-level home and their bedroom is on the second floor, however it’s wise to move it to the first floor. If that’s not an opinion, it may be worth it to downsize to a smaller, ranch-style home.
Contact Baliah Home Care Today
If you have further questions on how to improve senior home safety or are interested in our home care services in Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Potomac and nearby areas in Maryland, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you!