4 Simple Changes to Make Your Loved One’s Home Safer
Whatever the reason, elder individuals are opting to age at home rather than in assisted living facilities at larger rates than before.
If your loved one insists on being at home, you may start to worry about how you can keep them safe from accidents and injuries. But don’t stress! A few simple changes can eliminate potential risks, and give you peace of mind.
Below are 4 small changes you can make to make your loved one’s home safer:
Eliminate Tripping Hazards
The most common cause of injury in those over 65 is an accidental fall.
Take some time to assess where the problem areas in your loved one’s home may be and modify as necessary.
Hard floors can be very slippery, especially if they get wet. Installing carpet would make those areas safer to walk on. However, carpeting is not always the ideal solution. As an alternative, apply a no-slip wax to any remaining hard floors.
Area rugs are not a good idea, as any folding or bunching can be hazardous. If you do need to use area rugs, however, be sure to secure the ends and edges with safe double-stick tape.
Do a quick sweep of the house and make sure that there are no cords in the way of any walking paths. Wrap any excess length of cord and secure with a zip tie. You can also tuck ties behind furniture such as behind an end table or entertainment stand.
Let There Be Light
Let’s face it: No matter how diligent you are, it’s impossible to keep everything out of the way all of the time. Well-lit rooms can help your loved one see and avoid any clutter that could cause an accident.
If you are adding lamps, consider some that are activated by touch to make things easier. Aging hands can have a hard time trying to twist tiny switches. You can also install motion-activated switches for the hard-wired lighting in the home, so there is no need to search for a switch in the dark.
Accident-Proof the Bathroom
Bathroom slips and falls specifically are the top cause of accidents in the elderly. Whether bending to sit on the toilet or bathing, the bathroom is full of potential hazards.
Installing handrails in key areas will give your loved one support. There should be at least one in the tub or shower area to help them get in and out safely. You should also put one near the toilet so they can raise and lower themselves easily.
An easy-access tub can keep your relative from having to climb in and out, but they can be costly. If that is not an option for your family, be sure to install rails to hold onto. Cover the surfaces, both inside and outside of the tub, with no-slip mats to prevent falls. If you only have a stand-up shower, a sturdy shower chair is a great option to make it a little safer.
Bending down to sit on the toilet can cause loss of balance. Purchasing a raised toilet seat can reduce the risk of falling over.
Make Stairs Easy to Climb
If you can create a bedroom space on the same floor as the main living areas, you can avoid the need to use stairs altogether! However, many homes are built so that all bedrooms are upstairs with living areas below.
If your loved one must use the stairs, the best option is to install a stair lift. This is the easiest and safest way to raise and lower them between floors without risk of falling. But it may not be within your budget.
If a stair lift is not an option, you can age-proof your stairs by adding non-slip threads to every step in contrasting colors to distinguish one step from another. Also, make sure that there are railings on either side. Having a firm grip on each side will offer steady support while climbing the stairs.
In-Home Companions in Central Maryland
If your elderly relative would like to age in their own home, let us help you make sure that they can do so as safely as possible.
At Advanced Nursing & Home Support, we offer a complimentary Home Safety Assessment to our clients and their families. Our 100 point process, formed by research, ensures a thorough safety check in every area of your or your loved one’s home. We will take pictures of potential hazards, make note of suggestions, and send you a detailed report of our findings. Call today to set up your Home Safety Assessment!