Having ageing parents or grandparents live at home requires you to be on a constant lookout. The elderly are prone to tripping, falling and accidental hazards, so making your or their home senior-friendly is of great importance. You’ll need to make sure there are no red zones anywhere, and that the home is fully senior-proofed if you want to have peace of mind while you’re not with them. Let’s go through the home safety checklist together, so you can easily pick up on all the must-dos to ensure your seniors a safe life.
Run a home safety inspection
First and foremost, you must evaluate the initial safety of the home. Feel free to call an expert who can notice risk factors that may pass by you. They’ll check every square inch of the home. Starting from the driveway, they’ll perform a thorough home safety inspection. They’ll point out all the red zones such as bathrooms, kitchens, staircases, porches, and outdoor steps. Any potential fall hazards alongside checking for fire hazards and working alarms will be on top of the list of the pros to inspect. You’ll also get all the info about door widening, stairlifts, wheelchair ramps, and any other safety additions. You may not think about installing grab bars in the shower and near the toilet, but pros will point out that as well to make getting around easier and safer for seniors.
Many seniors are very prone to tripping and falling due to the lack of balance. That’s why it would be very beneficial for seniors to have a special alarm that they can wear as a bracelet or necklace. In case they fall, with a simple push of a button on the alarm they will call emergency services. That way you won’t have to worry whether the elderly can reach the phone or not. Protecting smooth surfaces with rubber mats is another good idea. If your senior likes to dabble around the kitchen, an anti slip mat would be great protection as it would prevent slipping, falling and potential injuries. Wearing slippers with rubber bottoms will also help against falls when seniors walk on smooth floors. Another great kitchen safety advice involves spilling and splattering. Namely, in case any liquid winds up on the floor, make sure you wipe it off immediately otherwise you risk forgetting and slipping on it which can cause an array of injuries.
Tape all area rugs to the floor so they are always fixed. If they start moving when you walk on them, they can cause tripping and slipping which can ultimately lead to seniors falling and hurting themselves. Slipping in the bathroom is one of the most common accidents that you can avoid by placing rubber mats in the bathtub.
Make the stairs elderly-friendly
Eventually, seniors start to lose strength and flexibility, either due to their age or some kind of disease such as Parkinson’s. That’s why you should make sure all the stairs are senior-friendly. Consider installing stairlifts because they can be custom fitted inside or outside the senior’s home. Stairlifts are great for carrying heavy weights and thanks to safety mechanisms, they can stop if anything Is in the way. Your seniors won’t have to worry about being stuck downstairs, upstairs or in the middle of the staircase if a sudden power outage happens because stairlifts run on batteries. Test the stair railings for any wiggles. Be sure you tighten all nuts and bolts or replace the railing in case they pose as a safety hazard.
Check the lighting
Aging eyes see less clear, which is why your senior needs to have appropriate lighting in their home. If you have any burnt-out lights in any of the rooms, replace them for new ones that shine much brighter. That way, seniors won’t be able to misjudge or completely avoid darkened areas. They’ll walk freely and safely around their home. Think about investing in new light fixtures as well as in motion detection lighting inside and outside the home.
Senior-proofing a home should be your biggest priority if you’ve noticed that your elderly members of the family have been experiencing difficulty moving. You should offer them a safe home to live in and move around without having to worry whether they’ll injure themselves in any way.