How To "Senior-Proof" Your Home - Senior Alert Medical

How To “Senior-Proof” Your Home

by Medical Care Alert · 7 comments

Look around your home – you will probably find many tripping hazards, increasing the risk of a fall.

Retirement is a great time to enjoy life – especially in your own home. But if you – or your parents – are starting to slow down, suffering from occasional imbalance or are having difficulty living safely in your home, it could limit your independence, and potentially cause you harm.

Falling is the leading cause of injury and death among people 65 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And if you look around your home, or your loved-one’s home, you probably can find many tripping hazards, increasing the risk of a fall.

Here are some tips you can follow to help yourself or your loved one continue to live independently in their own home and age in place safely:

Bathrooms

  • Incorporate walk-in showers in your bathrooms, so you don’t have to climb over the edge of a tub.  Options include shower chairs in case you need to sit down, secure hand rails and leak-free construction.
  • Alternatively, there are a broad range of walk-in baths, which are versatile enough for any member of the family to use, but provide the safety equipment needed to help keep older members protected from falls. Visit www.premier-bathrooms.com or call (800) 925-0865 and ask for more information about walk-in baths or showers.
  • Get a back up medical alert button and keep it in the bathroom at all times – this is where most falls occur.

Communication

  • Install telephones in every room, and have a cell phone always charged and accessible.  You don’t want seniors running from room to room to find a phone, and potentially falling as a result.

Shelves and Drawers

  • Switch under-counter shelves into pull-out drawers, so you or your loved one don’t have to get down on your hands and knees to find something at the rear of the cabinet. This not only helps prevent falls, but also prevents strains on the body from bending over.

Lighting

  • Install as much extra lighting as you can around the house. This includes nightlights and extra light switches at all door entrances so nobody ends up stumbling around in the dark.

Walkways

  • Create safe walking passages. If loose rugs are lying around, consider removing them. Check to see if any of the flooring in your house is slippery.
  • You might want to consider installing carpet – not only to get rid of the slippery floor, but also to keep feet warmer as well.
  • Review the layout of each room. Keep entrances clear of lamps or furniture so someone doesn’t accidently become bruised from bumping into them, or tripping and falling to the floor.
  • Eliminate extension cords or other possible tripping hazzards.

Aging in place isn’t overly difficult, and you can keep yourself or your loved one safe at home, and living in comfort with some of these tips.

— Contributions to this articles courtesy of ARAcontent

Summary
How To "Senior-Proof" Your Home
Article Name
How To "Senior-Proof" Your Home
Description
Tips to make your home safer for seniors and elderly family members.
Author
Senior Alert Medical

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Ian August 23, 2010 at 12:03 pm

As a matter of fact we are in this situation right now. My father died last year and we are in the process of making my mothers home more reliable and safe for her to get around. I have been really concerned about her bathroom which is cramped and the tub is hard to get in and out of. A walk-in shower is just what she needs it shouldn’t be too hard to install and will be dividends in the end. I will also put into action the other list of things including a medical alert button.

Pierce August 23, 2010 at 12:14 pm

I am 85 and carry a cell phone with me at all times. Not because I am always on it, but like you mentioned before it serves as a safety net for me. It took a while for me to get use to having a cell phone with me I would lose it all the time and drive my kids crazy but overtime I have grown to appreciate and need it. Thanks for such a great post.

Reed August 24, 2010 at 11:12 am

A walk in shower sounds great, I am a “senior” citizen and have to admit it is hard for me to get in and out of the bathtub each day. The thought of just walking into my shower and sitting down in a shower chair, sounds even more relaxing then a bathtub. I will have to go to Home Depot today to see the cost of adding a walk in shower to my home.

Kim Rawks October 22, 2010 at 8:45 am

Thanks for this article. My grandmother is getting older and I’ve been worried about some of these very things. I’m forwarding this to my mom. One remark on the cell phone idea – always have important numbers pre-programmed.

Laurelanne Davis October 25, 2010 at 8:38 pm

I wish I had this information for when we “elderly proofed” the house for my legally blind 90+ grandmother who was diabetic with a heart condition. We got her one of those medial alert safety devises to wear but she did suffer a bad fall into her bathtub. I think a walk in tub might have prevented the broken arm.

Stephanie Marlow May 28, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Don’t forget to make sure that all of the floor boards are even. No jutting out parts. Forgot about that in my brothers home. Could have prevented a fall if we would have fixed that.

Stephanie Marlowe June 25, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Thanks for the tips! I’ve already implemented the walkin showers in my bathroom. My grandparents love it!

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