HOME SENIOR SAFETY
It’s no surprise that the vast majority of the elderly prefer to remain in their homes and within their communities as they grow older. However, for most Americans, aging in place presents new challenges around home senior safety and injury prevention. Here are some simple and effective senior safety tips to make your home secure for your elderly loved ones:
1. Declutter your house to make sure you have plenty of space to walk around. Less clutter also means less risk of falls.
2. Make sure all rugs have anti-slipping pads.
3. Cover furniture corners to prevent injuries if you accidentally bump into them.
4. Make sure every room has proper lighting, including walk-in closets. Use nightlight to make it easy to see at night.
5. Install light switches at the top and bottom of your staircases.
6. If your home has different floor levels, use proper markings and make sure they are visible.
7. To prevent fall risks, use cord covers for all cords and cables, or secure them out of the way, behind furniture.
8. Use handrails for all staircases.
9. Remove all carpets from stairs and staircases to prevent slipping.
10. If you have trouble going up and down the stairs, consider installing a stair lift.
11. Pay attention to the height of your bed: if your feet can’t touch the floor while sitting on the bed, it means your bed is too high. Try lowering it by removing your box spring. Similarly, if your knees are higher than your hips while sitting, it means your bed is too low. In this case, try adding a box spring.
12. Place a light (such as a lamp) close to your bed and make sure you can reach it easily.
13. Have all the items that you use frequently within easy reach in the kitchen – don’t place them on high shelves that are hard to access.
14. Install grab bars in your bathroom for safety.
15. Use rubber mats in your shower or bathtub to prevent slipping.
16. Use toilet seats for easier access, and shower seats if you have trouble standing while showering.
17. If you have a water boiler, don’t set the thermostat to “Hot”. Instead, use the “Medium” setting to avoid burns or scalding.
18. Check your faucets and make sure they are easy to turn on and off.
19. Make sure all electrical equipment around the house works properly. This includes air conditioning units – seniors are at higher risk of adverse effects due to high temperatures.
20. Service your appliances every 3-6 months. Many seniors keep important medication in their refrigerators, so it’s important to make sure they are in good working condition. If you have a clothes dryer, make sure the vents are cleaned by a professional, to prevent risk of fire.
21. Check to ensure that your kitchen counters are easy for you to reach. If they are too high, it’s a good idea to lower them to a more accessible height.
22. Avoid stepping on wet or damp surfaces – promptly clean up any spills on the floor.
23. Have a cordless phone at home and keep it within easy reach, to prevent having to rush to answer when the phone rings.
24. Do not mix cleaning products together – some substances may be extremely dangerous when combined.
25. Wear anti-slip slippers or socks when walking around your home, especially on slippery surfaces such as polished hardwood floors or tile.
26. Consider purchasing a medical alert device.