There’s no place like home and this remains the case as we age. Our homes provide comfort, intimacy, and feelings of independence and security. So, it would make sense for makes sense for elderly people to stay at home where possible. Examining whether the home offers a safe environment is an important factor, however. Here are some tips to assess the safety of the home of an older, more vulnerable person.
Tips for Home Security
Remove throw rugs. They may be decorative but often do not have the proper rubber backing for better grip on the floor.
Clean up any mess as it accumulates. This includes newspapers, loose clothing, and shoes.
Discard or donate old furniture.
Create a more open environment, simpler to achieve when the older person is still mobile rather than using a zimmerframe or wheelchair. For those using mobility aids, doors must be at least 32 “in to allow access. Consider every tight corner before or after the door. It can restrict access and make manoeuvres impossible.
Avoid extension cords stretching on the floor.
Ensure that the elderly person is wearing non-slip shoes when inside.
Change the batteries in all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors regularly.
Check the electrical wiring of all equipment and lights in the house of your loved one. Replacing worn or damaged cords and limiting the number of cords plugged into a power strip. If you think it’s time they had round the clock care, consider Live in Care Bath.
Remove candles from the home. Should candles be left unattended, they can start a fire.
Explain to seniors that they should remain low if exiting the house during a blaze. This lessens the chances of inhaling smoke. Ensure they understand the “stop, drop, and roll” action if their clothes catch fire. Find out more about Live in Care Bath here
Try to persuade them not to use space heaters. Should they insist on using one, place it at least three feet from soft furnishings like bedding and curtains. Leave reminders to turn off space heaters before going to bed or leaving the house.
Make sure the bathroom is safe. The bathroom could be the riskiest space in a senior’s home. Falls often occur here. To ensure the safety of your loved one, make sure that you address the following issues:
Install grab bars in the shower and next to the toilet.
Set the thermostat on the water heater no higher than 120 ° F to prevent accidental burns.
Put a rubber mat in the tub to prevent slipping.
Consider replacing the original bath with walk-in models instead.
Place a special shower chair in the tub.
Install handheld showerheads. It can be easier to use, especially when cleaning places that are difficult to reach.
Consider installing a raised toilet seat with handgrips. The seats ideally must be 17 to 19” in height. This makes it easier for the older person to sit down and stand up.
Attach a night light in the bathroom. This will help assist those who might need to make numerous trips to the bathroom overnight. Place a lamp or two on the way to the bathroom as well so that seniors can find their way.