Senior citizens have paved the way for the world we know today! The doctors, engineers, and every parent out there has kindly given their time to help make this world a better place by presenting new inventions, new medical advancements, and new life. It’s now our turn to give back and make their world a better and safer place. There are many little steps and improvements we can make around our own homes and workplaces to ensure increased safety and accessibility for elders. Here are 6 tips to help keep elders safe at home!
1. Take Precautions! Like in any home, safety codes should be up to date and lifesaving methods in place. Make sure to prepare for fire safety by checking all batteries in smoke alarms at regular intervals, along with carbon monoxide monitors and ensure clear fire escape routes. It is beneficial to install a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of forgotten burners or accidents. Add protective screens to fireplaces and cover any exposed pipes, electrical, or objects that could pose harm. Put together emergency plans in case of incident and have your senior well informed of protocol. Information is education!
2. Lighten Up! Make sure there is enough light around the home to help seniors best visualize their surroundings, especially for those with sight impairments. Add extra switches, automatic power such as the clapper, and motion detection lights for darker corners or stairs. Better light often makes for better safety and allows seniors to stay in their homes longer without assistance!
3. Remove hazards! A little time goes a long way when removing dangerous hazards around the home! Assess the home to see what can be improved upon. Clean out spaces of clutter that can be thrown away or donated, fasten down any rugs with double sided tape to avoid falls, place furniture in accessible formats, and tape down any loose power cords if in direct walkways. If your loved ones are using canes, walkers, or other walking assistance devices, put rubberized tips or tennis balls on the ends for better grip and less trip!
4. Extend a hand! Make daily living easier with handrails and step stools. Even one and two step stairways should have a small banister to help with climbing, along with any front stoops or back porches to make entrance and exit more convenient. The addition of grip handles at the toilet and in the bath or shower will make for safer bathing experience and the decrease risk of falls and broken bones. Add non slip mats in the washroom for increased protection.
5. Get the gadgets! Technology has come a long way and can help save lives. A mobile phone is a great way to keep your elders connected to their community with the simple touch of a button. Make sure to program all important numbers for them such as emergency family contacts, their doctors, pharmacist, physical therapists, neighbours, and of course 911. Make sure to take the time to explain how the device works including information on charging and speed dial! Panic buttons or safety bracelets can also be worn for additional protection. In case of emergency, falls, medical alerts, or required assistance—seniors can press the button and a signal will go out to notify help. For seniors who drive, GPS units can be helpful not only for getting around but also for locating lost seniors in case of emergency.
6. Sound the alarms! A home security system gives seniors and their loved ones a sense of additional safety and security. Protect your home from predators such as burglars and those who may take advantage of the elderly living alone. Alarm systems can be as simple as motion sensors that activate when doors or windows are opened, or as complex as video monitors with two way voice activation that allow for communication between the security firm and the home owner. Additional security cameras can allow for monitoring of the home form web browsers when out of town or by family members hoping to keep a watchful eye. There are a wide range of systems available; it’s just a matter of picking which one is right for you!
For these tips and more, visit:
6 Gadgets to Keep Elders safe
Seniorizing your Home