Home Safety Tips for Seniors
One way to make sure that you can age safely in place is to make your home as safe as you can. The most common accidents among seniors are burns, falls, and poisoning. Plus, if you live alone, you may be targeted by a person who preys on older people. There are some safety steps you can do to make sure that you are safe in your home.
It’s not enough to have the emergency numbers you need, but it’s important to keep them handy, these numbers would include: 911, Poison Control, Family member or friend who you can call in an emergency, and your health provider’s office number.
Preventing falls in the home:
If you have frequently fallen in the past year, you may want to have a special fall risk assessment completed. You can have this ordered by your healthcare provider. To prevent falls, you can ask your doctor if an exercise program would be beneficial for you. Pay particular attention to the bathroom as this is one of the most common fall areas in the home.
Personal alarms are available that you can wear which, when a button is pushed, you can contact emergency services. This way if you’ve fallen and can’t get to a phone, you can still get the help you need. You can find extensive industry reviews for medical alert systems at https://www.theseniorlist.com/ as well as other informative senior related information.
When the phone rings, take your time answering it. Many seniors fall when trying to get to the phone before it hangs up. Either carry a cordless phone with you, have a cell phone handy or let the answering machine answer it and the person can leave a message.
Be sure to wear non-slip footwear if you have smooth floors. Many seniors have slipped on their floors and broken bones or hips.
Safe-proof your home
There are ways to safe-proof your home as well. Well lit stairways not blocked with objects and the carpet nailed down securely are necessary. The handrails and railings should be secure, and there shouldn’t be any throw rugs at either the top or bottom landings. In fact, tape the area rugs to the floor, so they don’t move.
In the kitchen, there can be many dangerous areas. When cooking, don’t wear loose clothing or clothes with long sleeves. If the sleeves dangle over the burner, you could catch on fire. Too, don’t put too many appliances into one wall socket or extension cord. Plus, if any of your appliances are frayed, they need to be tossed and replaced. Clean up anything you spill immediately and use a step stool to reach higher shelves, or a reacher to grasp what you can’t. Don’t pull a chair over and stand on it because it can shift with your weight and tip over.
In the bathroom, place a non-skid bathmat or safety strips in the bathtub or shower. Also, be sure to install grab bars in the shower or bath and don’t use the towel racks or soap dish to pull yourself up or out of the tub or shower. Keep the water no hotter than 120 F to prevent from scalding themselves accidentally. If you’re having difficulty getting in and out of the shower or bathtub or even off the toilet, see if your provider will order you a special bench or tub chair or raised toilet seat. Too, be sure the bathroom is well lit, and the bathroom floor is skid proof, so you don’t slip coming out of the shower or bathtub.
Aging in place is something many seniors what to do in their golden years. If you made your home a safe place to be, then that will be possible for you.