Assisting an aging loved one in caring for themselves is a large undertaking. The main goal is to keep elderly family members safe, independent, and happy. Here are tips to help make a home safe for seniors to dwell in. Whether the accommodations are for your home, a senior citizen’s home, or an assisted living facility, create an environment that allows your loved one some independence.
Reduce Fall Risks to Make a Home Safe for Seniors
A major concern when making a home safer is finding ways to prevent falls. Falling is one of the leading causes of injury for seniors. Reduce the risk of falls with these tips.
- Create clear, uncluttered walking paths.
- Repair old furniture that is unsteady. Chairs should have sturdy arms to help seniors go from sitting to standing.
- Remove rugs that aren’t needed. Rugs can slip, contributing to a fall. If you have rugs in the home, keep them fastened down to prevent tripping.
- Doorways should be at least 32” wide to accommodate both wheelchairs and walkers.
- Remove electrical cords from walkways; placing them behind furniture will help keep seniors from tripping.
- Replace doorknobs with levered handles.
- Keep stairs free of clutter and make sure the handrails are secure. Install a ramp, if the senior is unable to climb stairs. An indoor stairway can be made more accessible by adding a stair lift.
- Adjust the height of the bed to make sitting and standing easier.
- Add grab bars to help seniors sit up and steady themselves.
Safety and Assistance
In case of an emergency, an older individual may need immediate assistance. Provide your loved one with a cell phone to make sure they can call for help. A simple phone without too many features often works best. Write down important numbers and post them in several places throughout the home. If your elderly family member isn’t capable or won’t use a phone, an alert necklace or bracelet is a good option. This allows them to call for help with the push of a button.
Make a Home Safe for Seniors in the Bathroom and Kitchen
The bathroom and the kitchen are rooms that cause the most issues for seniors. They are also two of the most used rooms in a home. Here are a few suggestions for how to make these spaces safer.
Safety in the Bathroom
- Proper lighting is important. Seniors often get up to use the bathroom at night and lights to illuminate the way help prevent falls.
- Installing grab bars on the toilet and shower will provide seniors with the added support they need to use the toilet and get in and out of the tub.
- A slip-resistant bath mat helps reduce fall risk.
- Special showers and toilets can be installed to accommodate a senior’s needs. Raise the toilets two inches to help those in wheelchairs transfer from the toilet to the chair more easily. Bathtubs and showers can be lowered for elderly family members. You might have a bench installed or have a shower built to allow the wheelchair to roll into the shower.
Accidents often happen in the kitchen while preparing food. Make the kitchen area safer for senior citizens.
- Upgrade the lighting in the kitchen for visibility and safety.
- Replace cabinet knobs with levers or pulls.
- Make sure seniors can reach frequently used items on shelves and in the refrigerator.
- Older appliances can be replaced with newer models that have an automatic shut-off feature.
An older family member’s care is important and their safety is a top priority. Making a home safe for seniors will require some accommodations to be made, but will make life easier for your loved one. You’ll feel peace of mind knowing they are safe while maintaining their independence.