The vision is to be comfortable in old age, which applies to physical, mental and financial health. That’s surely what you want for aging parents and others who are 60 years and older. For the time they spend inside, here are useful home safety for seniors tips for their well-being.
Keeping their independence
I still remember how devastating it was for my grandma when we moved her into an elderly care facility. She lost her home that held so many memories with my grandad and simultaneously lost her sense of independence.
While this decision was a difficult one for the family to make, it was the best one as she wasn’t able to live on her own safely anymore. Over time she grew to appreciate the care received at the seniors facility and the photo of my grandad was likely the most cherished thing for her there in her room.
Looking back, I know that it must have been so hard for her to say goodbye to that residence. Before reaching that point, she had received in-home help from care workers.
While family still visited and helped her with groceries, as well as offering companionship, those care aids were important for administering medications, dressing her, and more. Thankfully there are a growing number of facilities that offer home care packages where the focus is quality care of your elders.
These kinds of services allow you in your busy life to still properly be able to care for those to whom you love during a time when their risks of injury and accidents increases. All while maintaining your job, raising your kids, and more.
Let them maintain their independence in the home when it’s still a viable option. In addition to bringing in a carer, below are other ways to help aging parents and other family stay safe at home.
7 home safety for seniors tips:
1. Check in on them often
Most of the causes of mishaps amongst the elderly are from lack of supervision. As the senses naturally decline as people age, they must adjust to this reduction in sensory perception.
Furthermore, they may also need reminders to take their medicine. Or, maybe they could use a nudge or two to follow the health regime that doctors recommend for them.
Perhaps most of all, your visits provide an opportunity to connect. If they don’t see another person all day or talk much to anyone, life can get lonely. Your time at the house is likely something to look forward to them and it’s also provides a wonderful time for you two to bond.
2. Try to give them a room on the ground floor
Going up and down stairs can be a hazard for those who have bad eyesight or aching knees (or a combination of the two ailments). It’s also a constant form of discomfort for a lot of elderly people.
Having them on the ground floor of the house will avoid that trouble. It helps keep them safe and also reduces stress on the joints that comes with using stairs.
3. Encourage them to use a walking stick
A walking stick can provide stability and reduce the risk of falling as well. They also help the elderly maintain a proper posture as core muscles begin to weaken with age.
During this time, if the proper support is not given to the spine, it increases the risks of a debilitating back injury. Maintaining a proper posture and supporting the spine can help keep away back issues whilst also encouraging mobility.
Anything that helps the elderly maintain mobility and allows them to walk around will also improve their mood and quality of life. That’s because the fear of dependency is very common among the elderly and walking on their own feet, even if it is with the aid of a walking stick, can be a benefit.
Encourage them to use walking sticks and walking aids to preserve health as well as the quality of life.
4. Home safety for seniors: Keep floor surfaces dry
A child can fall down and get back up again with ease. This feat, however, gets more and more difficult with age.
Brittle bones are far more susceptible to breaking, and the healing and recovery process slows down as you grow old as well.
To ensure that no such slipping mishaps happen, make sure all surfaces are dry after cleaning the floor. It would be best to carpet your floor too if it is not already carpeted.
For seniors, it is far more likely to break a bone falling on vinyl or marble than on a carpet. Keeping all surfaces dry and laying carpet throughout the residence can help prevent injuries from falling.
More home safety for seniors ideas:
5. Install bathroom safety equipment
The combination of smooth surfaces and soapy water can be incredibly dangerous for the elderly. Most accidents for older adults are caused by a fall. And falling inside a bathroom is particularly dangerous because of the hard surfaces and edges.
Examples of bathroom safety features to install are:
- Bath and shower chairs allow them to sit down and reduce the risk of falling during showers and after taking baths
- Non-skid surfaces immediately outside the bath and shower as surfaces are the most likely to be wet
- Fix grab bars around the toilet to help improve what is otherwise an accident-prone area for the elderly
Safety equipment in the bathroom is essential. Most people lock the bathroom door behind them and it makes it more difficult to give them aid in case of a fall. Reduce the risk of any falls in the riskiest area of the house by making adjustments to the home as part of your caring approach.
6. Properly light the house
Leave a nightlight switched on in the bathroom and ensure that light switches are easily within reach. Otherwise, stretching over things to switch a button is a good way to slip and fall.
Finding a light switch in the dark could also lead to a difficult situation, so it’s best to install luminescent strips on or near the switches. Doing so will reduce the risk of injuries that result from trying to grab around for the light switch.
Light up your house to reduce the risk of accidents at night.
7. Declutter the living space
Lastly, reduce mess wherever possible. Clutter in the house increases the chances of an injury.
That makes sense at any age as it’s easy to stumble over random boxes on the floor or other loose items and hurt yourself. Thus, keep the place organized or hire a housekeeper to keep on top of that. It’s worth it to keep your loved one safe.
Conclusions on home safety for seniors
During the twilight years of life, it is up to those who care about them the most to be there for them. Taking the proper steps above for home safety can help to keep your older family member or close friend safe so they can enjoy their retirement years as much as possible.
Use the time together to grow closer and make new memories. Above all, treasure this time.