With the majority of seniors choosing to continue to live at home during the course of aging, it is important to complete an extensive home safety assessment to identify and repair any dangers and make certain the seniors you love remain secure and safe. The easiest way to do this is to begin outside the home and work your way inside. Going room by room, visualize what your experience would be in every location if you struggled with the typical challenges that occur when we age, such as with vision or balance.
Listed below are some beneficial modification ideas for every part of the home to help you get started:
- Check sidewalks as well as other walking areas for uneven pavement, loose bricks, cracks, leaves, along with other debris
- Verify that the address number, either on the mailbox and/or home itself, is clearly visible in case emergency responders need to find the house
- If there are stairs or a ramp leading up to the front door, a handrail should be mounted on both sides
- Clear away any clutter, cords, or other items which might cause a person to trip
- Utilize a no-trip threshold in the doorway
- Ensure there’s adequate lighting, and a small table to put mail, a purse, and other items when entering the residence
- Remember to keep often-used items in easy-to-reach locations
- Utilize Lazy Susans, pull out cabinets, and shelves for easier access
- Use touch, sensor, or lever handles as opposed to knobs that turn
- Set water temperature to no higher than 120 degrees F
- Mount grab bars beside the toilet, in the tub/shower, and in any other strategic locations
- Consider a higher toilet, or add a toilet seat riser, as well as a shower chair and handheld shower wand
- Always utilize non-slip strips in the bathtub and on the floor, and take away any throw rugs or mats (or ensure they’re safely fastened to the floor)
- Place nightlights both within the bedroom itself and in the hallway leading to the bathroom
- Remove any obstacles between the bed and doorway, and any other places in the room where the senior may want to move about
- Replace throw rugs with carpeting
Throughout the entire house, ensure that walkways are clear and large enough to accommodate a wheelchair or walker. It’s also important to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, checking them periodically and changing batteries at least every six months.
And, consider an emergency response pendant for the senior to wear, which can be pressed to call for help in the event of a fall or other emergency.
If you’re looking for trusted elder care in Des Moines, IA or the surrounding communities, partner with At-Home Care Company. We’re available to complete a home safety assessment and recommend further actions that may be taken to make sure your loved ones stay safe, as well as offer a wide variety of in-home care services, customized to every individual’s unique needs.