Is Your Senior Loved One Safe at Home? Tips for Safety Modifications

By June 11, 2014Aging in Place

Safety is the number one priority for seniors who live independently. Aging in place brings with it some mental and physical changes, often requiring special safety modifications around the home. For instance, when a senior has limited range of motion, previously simple tasks like getting in and out of a bathtub can pose significant dangers. Implementing some simple home safety modifications is a great way to keep a senior loved one safe, while enjoying peace of mind knowing an older adult’s home is senior-friendly.

Here are a few safety modification ideas to get you started:

SlipsTripsFalls_IG3
Around the Home

  • Remove all floor rugs in the home to prevent accidental falls
  • Put traction tape on the upper portion of stairs, especially steps that are slick or in a dark area
  • Install motion-activated nightlights throughout the home to avoid falls when getting up in the middle of the night.

Bathrooms

  • Install sturdy balance bars and handles in the bathroom
  • Use only nonskid bathmats outside the shower or bathtub
  • Install a shower chair or sturdy bench for easy bathing
  • Senior caregivers should clearly mark the cold and hot faucets of both the bathtub and sink, explaining the differentiating system clearly to the senior
  • Use assistive devices like a long-handle loofah sponge to reach difficult areas when bathing

Daily Activities

  • Place items like pots and pans on lower shelving for easy access
  • For seniors who have failing eyesight, try using a phone made specifically for seniors (large buttons, high volume, simple design)
  • Seniors should never attempt to carry heavy or overstuffed laundry baskets, especially if it involves walking up and down a set of stairs
  • Avoid wearing shoes with slick soles or a bulky heel
  • Never wear socks when walking on floors that are slick, such as hardwood floors
  • Check to make sure there is adequate light throughout the house, as darkened rooms can quickly cause accidental falls
  • Inspect each smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in the home, replace batteries as needed, return detectors to original spots and re-test for performance

 

Image Credit- http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GM72yB-Zp9E/UQqhyuwncaI/AAAAAAAAAPw/WIUBFpcuxl0/s1600/CAREGIVER-WITH-SENIOR-MAN1.jpg

The American Recall Center provided the above graphic. Since June is National Safety Month, they’ve made it their mission to educate and encourage safe behavior with hopes to help prevent slips, trips, and falls. Please visit www.recallcenter.com/prevent-slips-trips-falls for more information!

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