For seniors, there’s no place like home. It’s where they spend the majority of their time. But it can also be the scene for harmful injuries, such as falls. Many people hold the attitude that accidents just happen, and can’t be prevented. But this is wrong. For seniors, making sure their home has as limited an amount of possible hazards as possible can go a long way to reducing the risk of household injuries.
One excellent way to ensure the safety of seniors and older loved ones is the protection offered by our AlarmCare medical alert service, which combines peace of mind with independent living.
You can also try these tips to help ensure home safety for seniors.
Check for small risks that can add up
There are many little things around the home that, if they aren’t safe, can together add up to create several hazards. It’s best to do a walk-about of the home while looking for physical safety hazards. Some things to check for here are that entrances have an outdoor light, stairs are in good repair and have railings, that the house number is lit and visible from the street (important if paramedics have to find the residence) and that there are no loose rugs or carpet corners, which are major tripping hazards.
One area of the home that can potentially be harmful is one that most people don’t often think of – the medicine cabinet. It’s good for a senior to have an up-to-date list of the medicines they’re taking, and ensure their family knows this information. And if you have allergies, it’s helpful to wear a bracelet or necklace indicating this. And to ensure there’s no risk from expired medicines, the drug cabinet in the bathroom should be regularly cleaned out of no-longer-good medicines.
Physical tweaks that bolster safety
A small renovation can go a long way to improving safety in a senior’s home. Consider adding extra lighting to busy hallways, and in the bathroom and kitchen. Switches should be placed lower on the walls if someone is using a wheelchair. Extra electrical outlets can also be added to cut down on the number of cords, which are a tripping hazard. Slip-resistant flooring, lower-level shelves and grab bars and more easily-handled taps and shower heads are also good add-ons.
For more helpful tips, consult the Public Health Agency of Canada.