How to Safety Proof Your Home for the Elderly
Safety proofing your home is advisable not just for babies but also for your aging loved ones. Falls among the elderly often happen due to hazards within their living space. Simple fixes can prevent injuries, protect your family, and give you peace of mind, especially if the senior family members live alone.
Follow these safety checks regularly to minimize the risk of falls and allow your loved ones the dignity of living comfortably and independently in their own homes.
To prevent the living room from turning into an obstacle course, ensure you or an active family member, or a caregiver scans the living area for any hindrances. These include stacks of books and magazines, unwanted, broken, or unused furniture, electrical wires and cords, showpieces, plants, accidentally strewn stationery, fitness equipment, appliances, toys, clothes, home décor, or cutlery pieces.
Install Grab Bars
To move around the house independently and take care of their own needs can mean the world for your loved one. If mobility is an issue with a parent, install grab bars around the house to help them complete their tasks without needing help or support from you or a caregiver. Grab bars are essential in the bathroom area for support to step in and out of the bathtub, use the toilet, stability while using the sink, etc.
Invest in Anti Slip Mats
Replace your regular house mats with slip-resistant mats affixed to the floor. Place them in areas where there’s an increased risk of falling, such as kitchen, bathroom, stairways, and other areas where there is a risk of water spillage. You can also buy your loved one a comfortable pair of slip-resistant footwear to use inside the house.
Design Accessible Cabinets
As you age, the ability to stretch and reach for an object or bend becomes difficult. Anything that needs a stepladder or balancing on your toes to access can become a potential source for injury.
If you have large cabinets in your home and don’t wish to replace them, then offer the older family member the shelves to place their personal belongings at their eye level. Let them have readily accessible spots that require no bending or stretching. Replace the door and the cabinet openers with D-shaped handles, which require simple movements like light pulling and pushing.
Fix Your Lighting
As you age, eyesight can decline, and vision-related problems can become common. Lack of visibility or understanding of depth can be a significant factor in injuries and falls. Instead of harsh overhead lights, replace them with soft, indirect lights that don’t cast any shadows or glares. Ensure all house areas are well lit, especially stairways, bathrooms, and entryways. Also, install switches at hands reach. Two-way switches are another great option to control the lights from different areas in the house. You could have one light switch at the entrance of the room and another switch closer to the seating space or the bed.
While these are just basic checks to keep in mind, you can also book a FREE consultation with Affinity Senior Care for a comprehensive assessment of your home. During the safety assessment consultation, we will have a qualified caregiver from Affinity Senior Care visit your home and give you tips, recommendations, and workarounds to ensure a safe space for your loved one.
To book a consultation, visit www.affinityseniorcare.com or call Affinity at 248-363-8430.