Even before a transition to a senior living community is in the picture, it is vitally important to look out for and maintain the safety of seniors so that they may continue to live in the comfort and independence of their home for as long as possible. Even the healthiest and most autonomous person experiences a decline in mobility as they age, and this must be taken into account to avoid injuries or dangerous situations. Fortunately, there are many steps that can be taken in and around the home to help promote a safe and active lifestyle. Below are five steps to make a home safer, whether they are living with you or on their own.
Create areas for pets.
Pets are wonderful companions for aging people and their presence should be welcomed and celebrated. However, cats and small dogs can pose fall risks as they accompany their owners around the house, or when they leave their toys in household thoroughfares for easy access. It is recommended to create a secured space for pets for when the person is moving around their house so that furry friends don’t wind up tripping their owners. Even a simple-to-operate door gate can do the trick.
Mind the flooring. Changes in floor surfaces between rooms, such as from wood to carpet, can create tripping hazards as one navigates from room to room. While redoing flooring can be a costly and time-consuming project, a simple solution like placing brightly-colored tape over the transition areas can be helpful to remind them of the change. Throw rugs can also create a risk, especially if they use a walker that can get caught and tangled, thus throwing them off balance. Securing throw rugs to the floor beneath with strong double-sided tape can help reduce this risk.
Install grab bars. Falls can often occur in restrooms due to the abundance of moisture and tile or otherwise slippery flooring. In fact, bathrooms are where the majority of falls take place. Placing grab bars in bathrooms can create an extra layer of security and support, and can often be purchased at local home supply or hardware stores and installed yourself. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so grab bars are worth considering even for the most mobile and self-sufficient of seniors.
Consider a medical alert system. You have likely seen ads for medical alert systems like Life Alert on television, but unlike many of the other infomercial-style ads on TV, these wearable devices can actually provide great value. In the unfortunate instance that a fall does occur, these systems will alert medical professionals or family members, allowing them to provide near immediate assistance and preventing a frightening experience of helplessness.
Assess outdoor spaces. Cracks in sidewalks or driveways, or loose boards on porches and patios can pose significant fall risks, and they can often be remedied with relative ease. If the resident often takes walks, gets the mail or walks to the car in the driveway, it is important to fix these issues to make the walk as easy and risk-free as possible.
If you would like more home health tips for seniors, or you think your loved one’s home may no longer be the ideal setting, call Inland Christian Home today at (909) 983-0084 or contact us online.