Improving Senior Safety in the Home

Ahome can present problems that were not a concern before an elderly individual began to lose their mobility capabilities. In addition, the loss of mental clarity can increase the risk of problems occurring in the home. It's important to become proactive by carefully assessing all areas of the home. This way, you will be able to determine which areas may present problems.

Bathroom Alterations

Bathrooms are a common trouble area where many elderly people have suffered falls. The combination of water and the slippery surfaces found in bathrooms can present a risky situation. Showers and tubs should include non-sip mats and should be easy to step into and out of. It is a good idea to install grab bars in the shower and near the toilet.


Assessing the Kitchen

As a person loses their mobility, it is important to make all items in a kitchen easily accessible. Many elderly individuals lose their balance when reaching for items in overhead cabinets or other difficult-to-reach places. Of course, the stove in a kitchen can present a fire hazard or can cause burns if care is not taken. Remind the elderly person not to place towels near the stovetop. It is also a good idea to use a stove that has burner controls near the front of the appliance and not on the back panel. Stoves with controls on a back panel can cause burns if the user is not careful. In case of fire, always have a fire extinguisher on hand and show elderly individuals how to use it.

Additional Alterations to Improve the Safety of a Home

There are many changes that you can make to ensure the safety of a home. These safety measures include:

  • Clear heavily used pathways. For instance, if there is furniture in the pathway from the elderly person's bedroom to the bathroom, they will be more susceptible to falls. Make it as easy as possible to get from point A to point B.

  • Avoid the use of extension cords if possible. If they need to be used, make sure that they are secured out of the way so that an elderly person does not trip over them.

  • If an elderly person has difficulty walking over throw rugs, remove them.

  • Refit door handles to the lever type if the elderly person has difficulty turning knob handles. The same holds true for faucet handles.

  • Sufficient lighting is a must. What may be enough lighting for a younger person may not be sufficient for an elderly person. Night lights are a good idea so that an elderly person does not stumble on the way to the bathroom at night.

  • Check outdoor pathways around the home as well so that hazards that may cause falls can be removed or fixed. For instance, cracks in walkways should be fixed and a sturdy railing installed.

When all areas of a home are carefully assessed for potential dangers, an elderly person can feel a lot safer in their home. Taking the time to make changes is well worth the time and effort.