Both seniors and those taking care of elderly loved ones know that preventing accidents in the home is one of the best ways to ensure continued health. Accidents, especially those which result in falls, can be a big setback to the health of many older individuals. That’s why we recommend this list of home safety tips for seniors and those taking care of elderly individuals.
Important Home Safety Tips
- Check the lighting. Eyesight tends to get a bit weaker as one ages, so it’s important to be sure that a home is properly lit. In addition to overhead lights, lamps should be used so that the entire area is well lit. And night lights are definitely a good idea, especially lighting the way from the bedroom to the bathroom. Be sure that electrical cords leading to light sources are out of the way and taped down or otherwise secured.
- Check smoke detectors, too. Often the batteries in a smoke detector may wear out — and sometimes they may even be removed. Replacing batteries every six months is a good idea in order to keep the detectors operating smoothly.
- Make sure banisters are tight. Banisters and handrails are often necessary to help a senior up or down the stairs. If a staircase lacks a banister, consider installing one. If it has one, test it periodically to make sure it is secure and doesn’t need to be tightened.
- Consider a lazy Susan. Often, taking care of elderly loved ones means making sure things are easily within reach. When a kitchen cupboard is crowded, it may be difficult for a person to reach items in the back; moving things around runs the risk of jars or bottles falling out of the cupboard (and perhaps onto a person’s head). A circular, rotating lazy Susan can help move items from the back of the cupboard to the front.
- Go small on detergents. It’s much more economical to buy those really big bottles of laundry detergent. But those big bottles may be too cumbersome for some seniors to pick up. Purchase a reusable smaller plastic bottle, and fill that up with detergent for a senior loved one to use.
- Pay attention to seat height. Chairs and sofas that are too low pose obstacles for many seniors. If a seat is too low, add a cushion or two.
Seniors and those taking care of elderly individuals can make the home safer by simply looking around at any potential problems and finding solutions before an accident happens.