While home is typically the place where we feel the safest, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is. Particularly for seniors. You may not realize that injuries from falls, home fires, and medication errors are much more common among those 65 and older. That’s why, if you’re considering aging in place at home you should consider these home safety tips to reduce your risk.
Also, consider how your furniture is arranged; is it out of the way when you walk or do you frequently stub toes or knees? And are sofas and chairs the right height to easily get in and out of them?
In the kitchen, purchase a reach stick or sturdy step stool with a bar to hold on to if you frequently need to access items on high shelves. In the bedroom, have a light close to the bed and proper lighting along the path from your bed to the bathroom. In the bathroom, get a non-slip rubber mat or self-stick strips on the floor of the tub or shower and install grab bars to assist you in getting in/out of the tub or up from the toilet.
And don’t forget accessibility. If you have a mobility devices to maneuver around the home, do you have ramps and/or are the doorways wide enough for these devices?
Conduct a fire safety check in the home on a regular basis and test smoke alarms/carbon monoxide detectors at least every six months. You should have these on every floor and near every bedroom along with fire extinguishers in easily accessible places. Also, have someone inspect your furnace and/or fireplace yearly. You might also consider installing a home fire sprinkler. Lastly, never leave a room with a candle burning and don’t overload electrical outlets or extension cords.
What’s more, a 24-hour personal emergency alert system is a must for seniors. This wearable call button will contact the appropriate first responder and/or a friend or family member in the event you need emergency help for any reason. At a minimum, always keep your cell phone with you and/or have a telephone near your bed, in the kitchen or anywhere you spend much time.
Aging in Place Versus Safety in a Senior Living Community
These tips can certainly help improve safety when aging in place at home. But realistically it can be a hassle and can be costly particularly if you have to make modifications to your home to widen doorways or install wheelchair ramps, for example. However, senior living communities like ours
are designed specifically for accessibility and include fire safety features as well as emergency response systems, grab bars, ramps, and generators. Our team members are also onsite 24/7 and our specialized care programs include medication management. All you have to do is move in and enjoy the peace of mind!