Staying safe at home may be a little more complicated than it used to be if we experience changes in our mobility, vision, balance, or memory. Despite the difficulties that arise with age, there are a few easy things seniors may do to maintain their home’s safety, comfort, and happiness.
Here are our best home safety tips for older adults. By following them, you can make your house safer and continue to live happily in the place you love.
1. Fall-proof your home
The possibility of falling is one of the scariest aspects of living alone, especially for older adults. However, falling can be prevented. There are numerous preventive steps you can take to safeguard yourself from a fall. These simple tips can provide safety in your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and hallway.
In the bedroom
To avoid stepping on or over your slippers, store them on a shoe rack, off to the side, or beneath the bed. In addition, you should put dirty clothes in a hamper rather than on the floor, and you should hang items you can wear again.
Use low-profile rugs, fasten them with non-skid mats, and don’t raise your feet at the rug’s edge. Avoid rug edges. In addition, as carpets age, they may get wrinkled. So think about taking down the troublesome area or replacing the carpet altogether.
In the bathroom
Falls are most likely to occur in the bathroom’s bathtub or shower. Some slips and falls happen when sitting or getting up from the toilet. Installing a grab bar in the shower, near the bathtub, or toilet to provide more stability when entering and exiting the tub or rising from the toilet is highly recommended. On the other hand, using a bathmat to line the tub’s bottom lowers the risk of slipping and falling. To avoid spilling too much water over the bathroom floor, dry yourself while still in the tub. Then get up and onto another non-slip bathmat.
In the kitchen
Standing on your toes to reach a heavy item increases your chance of falling or injuring a muscle. Instead, use a step stool, but make sure it has a grip and a non-slip surface. At the same time, consider using pull-down shelves that fit within your cabinets. Pull-out shelves are also available for lower cabinets and can help avoid awkward bending and reaching for supplies. There are many updates and renovations you can make in your home to make it safer for older adults. Your budget is the only limitation.
Hallways and stairs are home hazards for older adults
Hallways can be hazardous locations for falls, particularly if you hurry along a hallway to go somewhere else, like the restroom. Therefore, you can increase senior safety at home by maintaining hallways clear of clutter. That will also make it easier to exit quickly in an emergency.
According to studies, around 10% of older adults’ fall injuries involve stairs or steps. As a result, making stairs safer for seniors is a must. To increase stability, add railings to both sides of the staircase. And, if it is necessary, install a stairlift. It will make it simpler and much safer for you to go up and down the stairs.
2. Keep a list of emergency numbers close
Create a list of emergency numbers on your phone, so you can quickly access them if necessary. Contact information for friends, family, caregivers, medical professionals, and poison control should be easy to find in an emergency. In addition, besides making a list of them on your phone, you can write them on paper and stick them to your fridge. You won’t have to waste time looking up a contact’s number if you do it this way.
Moreover, remember to keep chargers in every room of your home, if possible, and in your car. After all, there is no point in having a mobile phone with emergency numbers if its battery dies.
3. Protect yourself and your home against fires
You should change smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries twice a year to prevent fires. Also, you should remove or put out candles when you leave a room because they can cause a fire if left unattended. In addition, replace any damaged or faulty electrical wires. In the event of a fire, keep your head down when leaving your house to lessen the danger of inhaling smoke. Furthermore, remember to stop, drop, and roll if your clothes catch fire.
At the same time, create a fire escape plan. Think of how you can escape from your house if there is a fire in your kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc. The plan may change depending on where the fire starts.
4. Keep your home well lit
Good lighting offers a sense of safety and makes a home feel warm and inviting. Hallways with adequate lighting make it easier to move around. Rooms with balanced lighting make it easier to spot problems and fix them. Bathrooms and kitchens with bright, clean lighting make showering safer and cooking enjoyable. Therefore, bring as much light as possible into your home to improve home safety. Ideally, use broad overhead illumination and task lighting. In addition, you can connect general illumination to a motion sensor so that it turns on automatically.
5. Use safety alarms
Personal alarms are possibly the most useful tech tools to help the elderly at home. In an emergency, you can ask for assistance using a personal alarm. A monitored pendant alarm is the most typically used. A base unit and a small pendant, which the user can wear around their wrist or neck, are the typical components of these alarms. Users can activate the alert whenever they need help by pressing the pendant’s button. When you press it, the button signals an alarm base unit. In response, the alarm base unit will contact designated friends, family, neighbors, or caregivers to come and help you. The response staff will also contact the emergency services if it’s a medical emergency.
6. Home safety for seniors is easy with an intelligent home security system
An innovative home security system can make any house safer, but for an aging resident, it offers additional benefits. For instance, you can quickly check that everything is closed and switched off without having to move, thanks to a smart home security system that controls lighting and door locks. Older adults can also check to see who is at the door before opening by using doorbell cameras that connect to their phones. If you don’t recognize the guest, you don’t need to answer the door.
7. Don’t forget the outdoors
Our home safety tips for older adults also apply in the outdoor area of your home. Be careful with the terrain you are walking on around your house. Watch for wet grass, damp or dry leaves, ice, and other potentially slippery surfaces. Before getting up and walking out of a car, check to see if the ground is moist. In addition, to prevent tripping in your yard, mark the edges of concrete or wooden surfaces and walkways with colorful non-slip tape. Finally, keep outside walkways and steps clean and free of debris.
Home safety tips for older adults, closing thoughts
Many older adults find it more pleasant to age at home than in an assisted living facility. Still, once that choice has been made, it makes sense to take the necessary precautions to make that house as secure and comfortable as possible before it’s needed. Seniors can stay safely in their homes with only little adjustments and upgrades.
Here is a home safety checklist for older adults:
- Check your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, hallways, and stairs for fall hazards and make the necessary upgrades.
- Save emergency numbers in your phone and also write them down where you can see them.
- Check your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors regularly (at least twice a year).
- Improve the lighting in your home.
- Consider using safety alarms.
- Invest in a smart home security system.
- Make the surrounding area of your house just as safe as the inside.