More and more seniors are choosing to live on their own, in part because of increased longevity in the population. But another reason is that many seniors are rejecting nursing homes in favor of aging in place. The tips below will help you create a safe home for seniors.
Prevent Slips and Falls to Make a Safe Home for Seniors
Common causes of ER visits for the elderly are slips and falls. Older bones are more fragile and brittle. A fall that would cause a younger person soreness or a light bruise could cause an elderly person to experience a fracture or severe break. To keep a home safe, remove loose rugs, especially in the bathroom. Any rugs left in the home should be tacked down or grounded with adhesive or velcro pads.
Bathroom rugs should have a grip surface on the bottom so the moisture doesn’t cause a rug to slip. Update bathrooms to include strong fiberglass or metal grab bars, especially in the bathtub and the shower areas. If the toilet area can be outfitted with bars, install them there as well. Finally, if possible, replace the bathtub with a walk-in tub specially designed for the elderly and the disabled.
Lighting Contributes to a Safe Home for Seniors
Another issue that the elderly have to deal with is poor eyesight. Not only do they lose their depth perception, but they may also experience issues such as blurriness and a decline in color receptors.
While a monochrome or complementary color scheme might have been attractive in the past, it’s helpful for the senior living alone to be among contrasting colors. This allows their eyes to capture differences in the furnishings, the drapery, and the carpets. When a senior is able to perceive contrast, they will be better equipped to avoid slips and falls and bumping into things as they navigate their homes at night.
Along with changes in the interior color scheme, examine the amount of lighting in the home. Night lights should be installed around the home, especially in hallways, the bathroom, and in the kitchen. It’s helpful to install bright light bulbs in heavy traffic areas.
Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Some homes are outfitted with gas appliances like the kitchen stove, water heater, and clothes dryer. Make sure these are screened, cleaned, and checked for gas leaks. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in the senior’s home. Test the detectors several times throughout the year and replace batteries as needed.
Check the Water Heater Temperature
Elderly folks are more prone to burns. If they enter a bath that is too hot, it also takes them longer to exit the bath. This means that the water heater temperature should be lowered to keep the home safe. This will protect from accidental burns when they wash dishes or take a shower or bath.