10 Home Safety For Seniors

Home Safety For Seniors

It is essential for families and seniors to incorporate home safety tips and adhere to a home safety checklist in order to ensure independence for a loved one who is aging at home, reduce the risk of falls, and prevent injuries. Seniors can live longer in their homes with the assistance of these measures and, in some cases, safe home care services. This is why this article – “10 Home Safety For Seniors” is important.

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for seniors aged 65 and older. They often have difficulty recovering physically from falls due to their aging skin and decreased bone density, and the financial impact of receiving medical support can be significant.

Home Safety For Seniors

To reduce the risk of falls and keep the elderly safe in their homes, follow these home safety tips:

  1. Get rid of obstacles that could trip you up. Risks include low tables, ottomans, area rugs, and electrical cords. Keep toys picked up if there is a child or pet in the house. Cover all cords and wires and install nonslip flooring.
  2. Make it easy to sit down. Add accessible seat like a bench near the front door for putting on shoes, to make the house more welcoming to seniors. Stools for the kitchen and shower make it easier for seniors to do things like bathing and cooking on their own.
  3. Verify thresholds. One of the first things you should do to help keep seniors safe is to make thresholds easier to cross. Raised flooring between rooms can be a significant trip hazard. Flattening thresholds, including indoor ramps and handrails, can be discussed with a safety expert.
  4. Don’t overlook the outdoors. Regularly check the driveway for cracks and ensure that the path to the mailbox is clear. Get rid of yard hazards like roots and rocks.
  5. Employ the assistance of medical alert devices. LifeAlert and Bay Alarm Medical are examples of wearable devices that can be connected to landlines or cellular service and have buttons that are simple to access for calling for assistance in an emergency.
  6. Using an automatic pill dispenser, such as a Hero or MedaCube, is a simple and secure method of medication management. PillPack, on the other hand, is a monthly medication delivery service that sorts and prepackages your medications according to date and time.
  7. In the event of an accident, senior-friendly cell phones make it easier to get help in an emergency and help older people stay in touch with friends and family. Emergency networks and GPS tracking are built into some phones, like the Consumer Cellular GrandPad and the GreatCall Jitterbug.
  8. Smart home devices are a good way to help seniors get acquainted with technology. Reminders and services can be beneficial to seniors even if they do not want to use technology. You can use smart devices to set medication reminders, make emergency calls from a landline to a landline, and access audiobooks and music.
  9. Seniors can get in touch with doctors and nurses from the comfort of their own homes through telehealth services.
  10. Hearing aids can make it safer for people with hearing loss to live at home. Although hearing loss may not directly cause a fall, it can make falling more likely.

The bedroom is where the majority of at-home falls occur (about 33%). In one study, 64% of falls were caused by slipping or tripping. Do the following to ensure safety:

  • Check the carpet and the pathways around the bed to make sure it is not wrinkling.
  • To avoid having to walk around or over their shoes, for instance, store them on a shoe rack, under the bed, or to the side.
  • Put dirty clothes in a hamper rather than on the floor. A hook should be used instead of the floor for even those clothes that might be worn again.
  • As they get older, carpets may pucker. If you don’t want to have the entire carpet re-stretched or replaced, you might want to consider patching the problem area.
  • Use thin-profile rugs, secure them with non-skid mats.
  • Install bed rails because seniors are also at risk of falling when getting out of bed. Put in a bed rail to give them something to lean on and push up against.

Falls can also occur in the bathroom. Do the following to ensure safety:

  • Install grab bars. When it comes to falling, the bathtub or shower is the most dangerous part of the bathroom. Some falls also happen when sitting on or getting up from the toilet. If you want to have more stability when getting into and out of the bathtub, shower, or toilet, install a grab bar there.
  • Line the bottom of the tub with a bathmat to prevent slipping and falling, and use a lot of them. So that you don’t spill too much water onto the bathroom floor, dry off standing in the tub. After that, take a second non-slip bathmat out onto it.
  • If you don’t have enough ventilation and take hot showers, the steam can eventually build up on the walls and floors of your bathroom. Consider installing a bathroom fan or taking slightly cooler showers because of the slippery surfaces.
  • Upgrade to an accessible bathtub and shower. If you have trouble getting in and out of the bathtub, a transfer bench might be a good option. Swinging your legs over the tub’s lip as you sit on the bench, you then scoot to the bench’s opposite side. From there, you can continue to sit or stand while showering in safety. You can upgrade the tub to one with a built-in door and high sides. These often come with built-in seats and water jets so you can scrub in style and safety.

Keeping a home safety checklist can help avoid dangers.

Create a monthly home safety checklist and recommend annual home safety inspections. Include the following types of inquiries on your list:

  • Does the house have a functioning smoke detector on each floor?
  • Is there a carbon monoxide detector in the house?
  • Are there fire extinguishers that are simple to use in all of the house’s common areas?
  • Has a check been done on the furnace?
  • Are the handles, bath mats, and towel racks secure?
  • Have the outdated light bulbs been changed?
  • Are dimly lit areas suitable for the installation of smart lights or motion sensors with bulb alerts?
  • Have lint traps in the laundry been cleaned?
  • Are there odd odours, evidence of hoarding, or an excessive amount of trash in the house?
  • Do the locks and doors work properly?

Plan for fire outbreaks

Mobility issues affect approximately ten million older adults in the United States. Seniors who have trouble moving around need to prepare in advance for a fire evacuation because the standard procedure of “move quickly and stay low” may not be enough. Also, many elderly people cannot use fire escape ladders.

As a senior, you are already at a disadvantage if the fire occurs while you are asleep in bed:

  • The fire alarm needs to sound loud enough to wake you up. If you can’t hear, get a bed shaker.
  • When you wake up, you need to be able to think clearly enough to know what’s going on and what you need to do. A fire drill can help you stay sharp and prepared for this situation.
  • You need to get moving as soon as you are awake and aware of what’s going on. Make sure your cane, walker, or wheelchair are easily accessible.
  • For the fastest possible escape, you should be sleeping on the ground and have an exterior door in your bedroom. In case of a house fire, the greater your distance from an exterior door, the greater your risk. Keep in mind that you only have three minutes to escape.
  • In case you are unable to evacuate within those three minutes, you will need a back-up plan that allows you to remain in your bedroom and prevent the fire from spreading until the firefighters arrive.
  • To ensure that the fire department is dispatched as soon as possible, sign up for a smoke alarm monitoring service.
  • Practice wrapping yourself in a fire blanket that is close to your bed.
  • Use a small fire extinguisher that is easily accessible to keep flames away from your door as well.
  • Avoid putting oxygen canisters in direct flame. During your evacuation, you should not take them with you.

You can also improve the fire resistance of your bedroom by carrying out the following home improvements:

  • Set up sprinkler systems.
  • Set up a fire exit.
  • Insulate your attic, between floor joists, and walls with mineral wool.
  • Apply primer and paint that are resistant to flames to the walls.

If you smoke, be extremely cautious when smoking in bed, around oxygen tanks, or around gas stoves. Many house fires involving elderly people were started by a single cigarette or other smoking accessories.

Keep valuables safe and out of sight. Some home intruders use a “smash and grab” strategy which involves breaking a window or door and swiping anything within reach before fleeing the scene.

Avoid leaving valuables like jewelry, medication, guns, electronics, or other items out in the open near your bedroom windows to deter this kind of burglary.

In summary to ensure “Home Safety For Seniors“, follow the guide holistically where it applies to you.