With the majority of older adults opting to continue to live at home throughout aging, it is crucial to complete an extensive home assessment to find and repair any hazards to ensure senior safety. The simplest way to accomplish this is to start outside the home and move your way in, room by room, visualizing what your experience might be in each location if you struggled with the frequent challenges experienced as we grow older, such as with vision or balance.
Below are some helpful modification ideas for every area of the home to help you get started:
- Inspect sidewalks as well as other walking areas for uneven pavement, loose bricks, cracks, leaves, along with other debris
- Verify that the address number, either on the mailbox and/or home itself, is clearly visible in case emergency responders need to find the house
- If there are stairs or a ramp leading up to the front door, a handrail should be mounted on both sides
- Remove any clutter, cords, or any other items that could cause someone to trip
- Utilize a no-trip threshold in the doorway
- Ensure there’s ample lighting, and a small table to place mail, a handbag, and other items when entering the residence
- Keep frequently-used items in easy-to-reach places
- Make use of Lazy Susans, pull out cabinets, and shelves for easier access
- Use touch, sensor, or lever handles in place of knobs that turn
- Set water temperature to no more than 120 degrees F
- Install grab bars next to the toilet, in the tub/shower, and in any other strategic location
- Consider a higher toilet, or add a toilet seat riser, as well as a shower chair and handheld shower wand
- Always utilize non-slip strips in the tub, as well as on the floor, and remove any throw rugs or mats (or ensure they are safely secured to the floor)
- Place nightlights both within the bedroom itself and in the hallway leading to the bathroom
- Eliminate any obstacles between the bed and doorway, and any other places in the room where the older adult may move around
- Replace throw rugs with carpeting
Throughout the entire house, be sure walkways are clear and wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair or walker. It is also important to set up smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, testing them routinely and replacing batteries at least every six months.
It is also a good idea to consider an emergency response pendant for your senior loved one to wear, which may be pressed to call for help in case of a fall or other emergency.
When you’re looking for an alternative to nursing agencies in Towson, MD, why not consider partnering with a trusted in-home care provider like Absolute Companion Care? We are available to perform a home safety assessment and suggest added measures that may be taken to make sure your senior loved one remains safe, as well as provide a variety of in-home care services, customized to each individual’s distinct needs.