Tips for Boosting Home Safety for Older Adults

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Seniors who live at home are more likely to retain their independence. Yet all it takes is a fall in the bathroom or forgetting to turn off the stove to place a senior’s ability to live alone in jeopardy. Most likely, your aging loved one already has some safety features in place, such as fire alarms. You may increase your loved one’s safety even more by using this checklist to senior-proof his or her home.

Check Walkways for Hazards

Fall-related injuries may have long-term consequences for seniors. Falling when home alone could also leave your loved one in pain for hours before anyone realizes he or she needs help. Most slip-and-fall accidents are preventable. Take some time to inspect your loved one’s walking paths in the home to look for hazards. Finding a new place for cords or furniture that extends out into the walkway could prevent a serious injury.

Increase Accessibility in the Bathroom

Bathrooms pose several safety hazards, such as slippery floors. If necessary, replace the flooring in your loved one’s bathroom with a less slippery type. Or you may put nonskid mats down to help your parent maneuver in and out of the tub. Handrails are also helpful in the bathing area and beside the toilet. If your loved one lacks mobility for stepping over ledges, a walk-in tub or shower unit may help him or her continue to age in place.

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Create a Plan for Medication Management

Falls aren’t the only safety concern in a senior’s house. A medication regimen could be one of the biggest potential safety hazards. Seniors who forget to take their medication or double up on doses are in danger of having life-threatening reactions. You may use automatic pill dispensers to reduce some of your loved one’s risk along with appointing someone to oversee the medication schedule to make sure your loved one is following his or her treatment plan.

Install Appliances with Automatic Shutoffs

Seniors with memory loss are at the highest risk for experiencing house fires. Yet even a minor moment of forgetfulness could cause your loved one to leave a hot appliance on. Look for new appliances that shut off automatically after a specific time. If buying a new appliance isn’t possible, you may find special outlet inserts that serve the same purpose. 

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Make Sure There’s Adequate Lighting

A well-planned lighting system may deter burglaries and prevent falls and other accidents. Visit your loved one’s home in the evening to look for areas that lack good lighting. Hallways, the front entrance, and closets are a few spots to check. Motion-sensing lights are ideal for seniors, since they don’t require searching for switches when getting up in the middle of the night.

Plan for Daily Check-Ins

All the safety features in the world may not equal the effectiveness of human supervision. Your loved one may not need someone helping at all hours of the day and night, but just about everyone may benefit from regular check-ins. A caregiver may call or visit throughout the week to make sure your loved one is doing well. The caregiver may also prevent accidents by helping out with risky tasks around the house, such as changing ceiling light bulbs and retrieving things from high shelves. 

Certain age-related conditions may make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Cincinnati home care experts are available to help seniors maintain optimal health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or recovering from a stroke, you may trust the professional caregivers from Assisting Hands Home Care to enhance his or her quality of life. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call one of our Care Managers at 513-729-9999 today.