If you live with a senior, whether that be with one of your parents, a grandparent, or even a family friend, it’s imperative that you ensure that the house is a safe environment for him or her. As people age, they are more susceptible to getting injured around the home; and in most cases, these injuries are caused by accidents that could have been prevented. Sometimes these injuries can be life-threatening and altering; thus impacting the quality of the senior’s overall health and quality of life.
If you have a senior living with you, it will be in your best interest to do all that you can to keep them safe, and the best way to do that is to modify your home. This post will detail 4 essential home modifications you can do in order to keep your home safe for your beloved family member.
How to Keep Your Home Safe for Elderly Family Members
An expert from a company that specializes in in-home care for seniors pointed out that it’s best to be proactive when it comes to modifying your home. She added that even if the senior in your life is not at risk of injury at home now; perhaps he or she gets around easily, it’s still best to modify your home so that your home will remain a safe place as he or she ages. With that being said, here are 4 simple home modifications to consider.
1. Remove all Tripping and Falling Hazards
Trips and falls are the number one cause of injury amongst aging adults; therefore it will be beneficial to you and your loved one if you modify your home to get rid of any tripping and falling hazards. Some ways to do this include:
- Get rid of any unnecessary clutter
- Remove throw rugs
- Get rid of old furniture or furniture that presents tripping risks
- Buy non-slip footwear and socks for your loved one
- Do not use extension cords or string cords across the floor
- Do your best to create open space; move furniture along the walls so that seniors have something to hold on to as they walk while also having an entirely open space
2. Keep Your Bathroom Senior-Friendly
Bathrooms are a commonplace of injury for seniors. Some things to consider when making your bathroom senior-friendly include:
- Put rubber mats in the tub
- Add a walk-in shower
- Install grab bars on the outside of the shower and near the toilet
- Install a bathing chair
- Install a handheld showerhead for easy access
- Make sure you have at least one night light
3. Pay Attention to Lighting
Often, seniors hurt themselves by tripping in dark rooms or as they are on their way to turn lights on. These injuries can be avoided by simply paying attention to the lighting in your home ahead of time before one of these injuries occur. Some ways to focus on lighting include:
- Install clap-on lights
- Install motion-sensor lights
- Make sure that the lighting fixtures are strategically placed to create a clear path of light
4. Make Sure the Kitchen is a Hazard-Free Area
Kitchens are a hazardous room of the home for anyone, especially for seniors. Here are some ways to make sure that your kitchen is hazard-free:
- Have a step stool close by for seniors that need to reach things; however, do your best to put frequently used items down low for easy access
- Check the oven and stove often or hang a sign that reminds the senior to turn it off when he or she is done using it
- Help the senior meal prep for ready-made meals
- Replace twist and turn kitchen appliances with single-lever ones
Create a Safe Space for the Senior in Your Life
Caring for an aging adult can be a challenge at times; that’s why it will be in your best interest to be proactive and get rid of potential risks before an injury occurs because of them. If you are getting ready to have a senior move in with you, or you already have a senior family member living with you, keep these safety tips in mind- you won’t regret it.