According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, about one out of three adults over 65 will get injured in a fall — many of these incidents will occur in the comfort of their own homes. That’s why it’s imperative to “Senior Proof” a home where an elderly loved one of yours is going to be spending their time.
The first step to senior proofing a home is recognizing what hazards are in the home — some will be more obvious than others. The National Council on Aging has a great resource that lays out a slew of measures you can take to make a home more senior-friendly. We spotlight a few below that can make a big difference.
Installing Grab Bars/Railing
Grab bars are essential in the bathroom of an older adult's home. The bathroom is a very slippery place so it’s important that they have extra support to hold on to. Grab bars should be installed in and around the bathtub and toilet area.
Installing railings along elevated mobility areas (stairs, ramps, etc) is another fix that is vital if you have not already done so. As one ages, maneuvering become more difficult. Climbing up and down stairs can become very hard on an elderly body. Having safety railing alongside stairs is something that they will rely on heavily to prevent falls and enjoy greater range of motion.
Remove Area Rugs
This one is a little less obvious but of equal importance. Area rugs are a tripping hazard for the elderly. For many elderly people, shuffling their feet rather than lifting them up is easier on their body — making it more likely they get a foot caught under an area rug. Area rugs can also be very slippery if they don’t have some form of grip on the bottom...so if they must stay make sure they are secured to a surface.
Install a Medical Alert System with a personal pendant.
As mentioned earlier, falling is very common for people over the age of 65. Having your elderly loved ones wear a Medical Alert System with a personal pendant is a way to help ensure your loved ones safety. Wearing a personal pendant allows your loved one to go about their daily activities while being able to request help (if needed) with a click of a button, even if they are unable to get up to call.
If you’re taking steps to make your home safer for an elderly loved one, there are plenty of great resources online; start with what we linked earlier and this checklist, then explore as needed. Also, feel free to contact us if you’d like to talk to a regional director in your area — a no-cost consultation may be just the thing to point you in the right direction.
Did you find learning about how to "senior proof" your home helpful? Contact us today — we can help you prepare for your loved ones move home.