The one place where we want to feel safe and relaxed is in our homes. As young people, living at home, even alone, is not a difficult chore. However, as we grow older, we cannot always guarantee our safety as our bodies decline. Older people start to notice changes in mobility, vision, and balance which can result in accidents happening all the time.
If you have an elderly loved one to take care of, then in this article we will be going through 7 ways to ensure their safety at home. You can guide them through these as well so that they are aware of what they need to watch out for.
7 ways to ensure safety at home
Here is a guide for seniors that can help you take care of your loved ones at home.
Preventing falls at home
Falling is one of the biggest risks that an elderly person will face at home. Statistics show that at least 3 people over the age of 65 falls at home every year. As a young person, falling doesn’t constitute much risk. But the frailer you are, the more prone to injury even the smallest accidents can lead to.
To reduce the chances of this happening, here are some steps you can take inside the house:
- Purchase non-slip footwear for them
- Go for carpeted floors instead of smooth or wooden floors
- Make sure there is enough lighting, especially in places like the stairs
- Urge them to slow down their pace
2. Install grab bars around the house
Due to mobility and weakness issues, simple activities like getting up and walking can be extremely taxing. Sometimes, they require additional support to either rest or pull themselves up. This is why grab bars are extremely useful as they can be installed anywhere around the house. Ideally, you’d want them installed in the bathroom, the staircase(s), the kitchen, the bedroom, and the dining area.
3. Set up alarms and detectors
This is especially important if your loved one is staying alone or without family. If an emergency were to happen inside the house, no one would know unless one of these alarms started going off. Therefore, it is crucial that you install fire alarms, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide alarms as well. Home security systems are also necessary, as an elderly person living alone can be a prime target for robberies.
4. Remove or fix any fall-inducing objects
We all have items lying around our homes that can be a falling hazard such as a loose rug or an extension cord sticking out. These are not very noticeable and can easily trip someone up. As such, you need to take the time to fix up these areas. Hide extension cords behind or under something to ensure it doesn’t stick out. Buy non-slip rugs or tack the existing ones down so that it doesn’t cause them to trip.
5. Keep the often-used items within reach
Trying to reach items or utensils that are in high cupboards or shelves is a fall risk. Keep the most common items as close to the ground as possible. For example, in the kitchen, all the common cooking utensils, herbs, and spices should be kept on one counter. This way they won’t need a step-stool or ladder to attempt reaching for these items when required.
6. Change the layout of the house
You need to take a walk around the house and identify the areas where you can clear the walkways to prevent any blockages. Furniture that is jutting out can cause them to trip or hurt their bodies in some way. Spend some time rearranging the furniture around the house so that they can walk around freely without worry. This is especially important if your loved one is in a wheelchair or using a walking aid.
7. Install a medical alert system
If an accident were to happen at home, your loved one may not be able to reach the phone to call for help. In this case, a medical alert system can inform both the authorities and yourself if an accident occurs. This can be programmed to either be voice-activated or at the push of a button.
Take the necessary steps to make living at home as easy as possible for your elderly loved ones. If you haven’t done so already, put some of these methods into practice and safeguard your home!
Content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. Reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students.