As the common saying goes, there’s no place like home. However, with age, our memory, vision and mobility is reduced which can sometimes result in falls and other accidents around the house.
To keep up with the passing years, our homes require certain adjustments and additions that can help us live a safer and more independent life. Wondering where to get started? Here are six ways you can ensure safety and security for seniors at home.
Remove fall hazards
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Apart from reduced visibility and mobility, as we grow older, our bones also tend to get weaker and brittle. According to studies, a minor ground-level fall is three times more likely to result in death for adults aged 70 and over than for the general population. Moreover, it takes longer for a senior to recover and bounce back from a fall as compared to a middle-aged adult.
To reduce the risk of falls and accidents, the first and foremost step is to ensure the house is fall-proof. You can do this by making sure all parts of the house are well-lit and free of objects that might cause one to trip and fall. So, if you have pets or children around, make sure their toys are not scattered around. That favourite rug whose edges always keep curling? A death trap – trust us when we say this! You could either nail/stick the edges down or get rid of it altogether. Also, ensure that seniors only wear non-slip footwear around the house.
One of the leading causes of falls is spilt water in and around the bathroom. So, make it a point to place bathroom mats in front of the shower and the bathroom door. Also, ensure that the mat has a rubber backing, which prevents it from slipping and sliding when wet.
Install grab bars and handrails in the shower and near the toilet so seniors always have something to hold on to for safety and stability. If sitting down on the toilet is proving to be difficult, you can also get a special raised chair or toilet seat which can help ease mobility problems.
Keep emergency numbers handy
Remember, emergencies never come with an invitation. So, make it a point to always keep a list of numbers that seniors can reach for when in need. Another suggestion would be to install an eye peephole on the main door and locks that can be opened both ways, in case of emergencies.
Ensure safety against fire and electrical disasters
Bad things can happen to the best of us. With some preventive measures and care, you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe from fire and other disasters.
To prevent fire and electric related accidents, replace damaged appliances and frayed wiring. A lot of us are guilty of doing this, however, it is never a good idea to plug too many electric cords into one socket or extension cord. If possible, get a smoke detector installed along with water sprinklers. In case of fires, sometimes it can take a while before help arrives. So, it doesn’t hurt to keep a fire extinguisher around the house.
Keep medicines in stock
As we age, we suffer from all kinds of ailments that modern medicine can help manage if not cure. To ensure the safety of seniors at home, it is a good idea to stock up on all kinds of medicines – both general and prescription. So if you or your loved one suffers from a chronic condition such as diabetes, always ensure that there is medication at home at all times.
Safety against intruders
Seniors are considered to be more vulnerable to potential criminal acts than others. So, if you or your loved ones are living alone, ensure there is a security system installed to protect against strangers and intruders. A doorbell camera can help seniors identify visitors before they open the door. Also, make it a point to keep all doors and windows locked at all times.
Ease of access
Reduced mobility means having to rely on external forces such as sticks, crutches and handrails. If you have a staircase in your home, make it a point to install handrails for seniors to grab on to when going up or down the flight of stairs. Meanwhile, if you or your loved one is wheelchair-bound, ramps around the house are extremely important for ease of access.
Visit Samarth Store for hand-picked safety and convenience products for seniors.
Thank you. Very useful information.
Need chair or small lift for me I am 75