According to statistics, one in every four seniors aged over 65 years experiences a fall every year. So, it is essential to be proactive in helping prevent these falls from happening. Planning early enough and foreseeing possible hazards allow you to make your home conducive for your loved ones who are in their golden years. It makes their living space safe and comfortable.
Here are some of the areas in your home that needs attention:
To prevent slips and falls in the bathroom, make structural changes and acquire appropriate bathroom equipment for the elderly. Install non-slip mats on the floor. Adding grab bars next to the shower and toilet will also offer extra stability, so the seniors in the family can use the bathroom quickly.
For those with bending problems, prepare a shower chair. Also essential is adjusting the thermostat setting. This will prevent them from experiencing scalding burns when they unknowingly turn the water on to the maximum temperatures. The cold and hot water gauges should also be marked out.
Move items in the kitchen to lower shelves, so the elderly persons do not have to climb or elevate themselves to reach them. Do not put them too low either, as bending may also be an issue. Placing the items at waist level should be okay. Check appliances that need repair or replacement and do so on time to minimize the risk of injury. When buying new tea and coffee pots, choose those that switch off automatically. Also, adjust counters for accessibility when seated and standing.
Install railing on the sides of the staircases. These should be strong enough to support a grownup’s weight, and long enough to extend a little longer beyond the steps. Having reflective strips on the stairs will be an additional advantage as it increases their visibility. If the home already has stairs, you can add rumps to make it easy for seniors to enter the house. Wider entryways are recommended to accommodate the use of wheelchairs and walkers.
Since seniors spend most of their time at home, it is essential that the furniture surrounding their living areas is safe. Get rid of any unnecessary furniture and only leave the essential and functional pieces. Replace unstable equipment with sturdy ones as wobbly ones might cause them to topple over. The furniture should be easy to use and require minimal effort to handle.
Obstacles within the home present a fall hazard. Eliminate unnecessary items from hallways to make navigation easy. Secure any loose cords and wires as well as old reading materials. Tack or tape loose rugs and carpets. Eliminate small rugs and those with curled up edges to make the ground safe. Clearing up unnecessary items gives the seniors enough room to maneuver, so they can get around easily without struggling. Decluttering makes it easy to organize space for the safety of the elderly.
Proper lighting is essential for visibility. Keep all areas adequately lit with non-glare bulbs. Check smoke detectors frequently to make sure they are in working condition. Where the senior loved one lives alone, consider buying a buddy or medical alert system for them.
Independent living among seniors is possible. However, it takes some effort to make the home safe for them. Modifications are best done early, even when the older adult may not like the idea of you safe proofing their home. Involve them in the process so they can make inputs and give suggestions on what they would like.