With the majority of seniors deciding to continue to live at home during aging, it’s necessary to execute a comprehensive home assessment to locate and resolve any hazards and make certain the seniors you love stay safe. The easiest way to do this is to start outside of the home and work your way in, room by room, picturing what your experience would be in each location if you struggled with the typical challenges that occur as we age, such as with vision or balance.
Below are some effective home alteration ideas to help keep seniors safe while aging in place:
- Assess sidewalks as well as other walking areas for uneven pavement, loose bricks, cracks, leaves, along with other debris
- Verify that the address number, either on the mailbox or the home itself, is clearly visible in the event emergency responders have to find the home
- If there are stairs or a ramp leading up to the front door, a handrail should be installed on both sides
- Eliminate any clutter, cords, or any other items which might cause someone to trip
- Utilize a no-trip threshold in the doorway
- Ensure there is sufficient lighting, and a small table to place packages, a handbag, as well as other items when entering the home
- Remember to keep frequently-used items in easy-to-reach locations
- Utilize Lazy Susans, pull out cabinets, and shelves for easier access
- Use touch, sensor, or lever handles rather than knobs that turn
- Set water temperature to no higher than 120 degrees F
- Mount grab bars beside the toilet, in the tub/shower, and in any other strategic locations
- Consider a higher toilet, or add a toilet seat riser, as well as a shower chair and handheld shower wand
- Always utilize non-slip strips in the tub and on the floor, and remove any throw rugs or mats (or ensure they are firmly fastened to the floor)
- Place nightlights in the bedroom itself, as well as in the hallway leading to the bathroom
- Remove any obstacles between the bed and doorway, and any other places within the room where the older adult may move around
- Replace throw rugs with carpeting
Throughout the entire home, be sure walkways are clear and wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair or walker. It’s also important to put in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, checking them routinely and changing batteries at least every 6 months.
And consider an emergency response pendant for your senior loved one to wear, which can be pressed to call for help in the event of a fall or other emergency.
Above all, partner with a trustworthy and well-established provider of home health services in Belleville, IL and the surrounding areas, like Morning Glory Home Care. We’re here to perform a home safety assessment and recommend additional measures which can be taken to ensure your loved one stays safe, as well as offer a number of in-home care services, tailored to each individual’s distinct needs.