If you live with elderly family members, install safety features to make sure that every area of the house is easier to navigate. Here are a few ways to make any home safe for seniors.
Eliminate Fall Hazards to Keep Your Home Safe for Seniors
Falls are one of the main causes of injury for senior citizens. Clear clutter from hallways, stairs, and other high-traffic areas. To prevent falls, throw rugs should be removed from the home unless edges are flush with the floor and a non-slip backing is installed. Extension cords should never be used across walkways or beneath rugs. Open up living spaces by repositioning furniture to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.
The bathroom is a high-risk area for seniors that requires special attention. Install safety features such as a non-slip bathtub mat, grab bars, and supportive bathing chairs. Additionally, you can install a handheld showerhead in an easy-to-reach section of the shower. Another hazard that should be addressed in the bathroom is water temperature. Make sure the thermostat on the water heater is set to a maximum of 120 degrees to prevent accidental burns and scalding.
Reorganize the Kitchen
Make things easier to access by storing them on lower shelves. Reorganizing the kitchen is simple but helpful in supporting seniors in their independence. Lever faucet handles are often easier to use, as rotating faucet handles can lead to wrist strain and injury. Purchase small appliances such as coffee makers and toasters that come with an automatic shut-off feature to reduce fire risks.
Improve the Lighting
Better lighting throughout the house is necessary to increase visibility in the living spaces. Replace lower wattage bulbs with brighter lights to prevent accidents. If an area is too dim, install an additional light fixture or add another light source. Motion detector lights are great for use indoors and out. They will provide illumination without having to flip a switch. Night lights are useful in the hallways, kitchen, and bathrooms to help seniors navigate the house after dark.
Make Stairs in Your Home Safe for Seniors
Stair safety is essential for reducing potentially life-threatening falls. One of the easiest ways to make stairs safer is by painting the edge of each step in a contrasting color. Installing a stairlift is another great option, as they make getting up and down the stairs a breeze. You should also check existing railings for stability, and make repairs if issues exist.
Home safety begins with assessing each area of the home to determine what hazards are present. Keep walkways free of clutter, use brighter lighting, and install bathroom safety features to boost security throughout the home.