It’s good to be home, especially for seniors who feel the most comfortable and secure in the home they love. More and more, seniors are expressing their wishes to remain at home and live independently even when they need a bit of assistance.
Safety is one of the biggest concerns family members have when helping to make the decision about whether a loved one can remain living at home.
With that in mind, we’ve put together the following home safety checklist for seniors living in their homes:
Inspect the home for fire hazards. Many seniors have difficulty with mobility. Fire hazards can prevent them from exiting the home safely during a fire. Look for the following hazards:
Old batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
Frayed or worn electrical cords
Power bars with too many plugs in them
Clear walkways. Remove items that impede walking or pose a trip hazard from traffic patterns. Prevent injuries from falls by taking the following steps:
Clean up clutter
Move furniture to accommodate wider walkways
Add non-slip backings to throw rugs Provide non-skid rugs
Unplug electrical cords that stretch across the floor
Purchase non-slip shoes for indoor use for seniors
Make bathrooms safer. Slippery bathroom floors can cause seniors to fall and other modifications can make bathrooms safer. Consider the following bathroom modifications:
Replace bathtubs with walk-in showers
Install grab bars in the toilet and shower areas
Install a raised toilet stool seat
Add rubber mats in the tub and shower
Install a bathing chair in the shower
Improve the living areas for safe movement. The following suggestions may be used in various areas of the senior’s home:
Add a stairlift for seniors who can’t manage stairs easily
Add night lights to the bathroom and hallways
Replace bulbs with bright bulbs throughout the house
Add a peephole or remote door camera or alarm to the front door
Home Safety Tips for Seniors with Dementia
Dementia poses many safety hazards for seniors, and an elderly home safety checklist is in order. Recommended When dementia progresses and seniors wander or have significant memory loss, they need supervision. Caregivers should take the following precautions when caring for seniors with dementia:
Swap out old appliances with appliances that have auto-shutoff features.
Install hidden circuit breakers and gas valves so fireplaces and kitchen ranges can’t be left on.
Install finger guards on garbage disposals, cover the switches with safety locks, or disconnect them.
Lock cabinets and drawers that contain knives, medications, and cleaning supplies.
Lock garages and basements that house dangerous machinery, tools, or harmful chemicals.
Move locks on exterior doors so they are too high or too low for wandering seniors to reach, and add deadbolts where needed.
Remove locks from bedroom and bathroom doors to prevent accidental lock-ins.
Move light switches throughout the home to where seniors can reach them easily and prevent them from being disoriented. So that they are not confused when looking for them.
Be Proactive with Home Safety for Seniors
Home safety for the elderly is paramount. Unfortunately, seniors don’t always realize their homes aren’t safe. A few small changes in their living environment can make a world of difference.
Rather than wait for an accident or emergency to occur, be proactive in your approach to senior safety. The right precautions reduce the risk of falls and injuries, making it safer for seniors to remain at home as long as possible.
Simple modifications like adding grab bars and non-slip mats may prevent extensive renovations later on.
To make things easier, why not enlist the help of a certified home safety specialist to ensure safety in the home for the elderly? A professional can inspect the senior’s home and make recommendations to improve safety that fit within your loved one’s budget.
Another simple thing you can do is to explore the possibilities of hiring qualified caregiver services. A compassionate caregiver allows seniors to live as independently as possible while assisting them with the tasks they find challenging.
Any Home Is Adaptable for Elderly Safety
Practically every home can be adapted with appropriate safety and accessibility features.
For example, installing chair lifts, elevators, or ramps can make it easier for seniors to enter and exit multi-story homes.
A licensed electrician can move electrical outlets so they’re accessible. Handymen or contractors can help replace doorknobs with levered handles to make opening doors easier.
There are a host of ways to make a senior’s home environment safer. When you’re out of ideas, it’s time to rely on the advice and recommendations of professionals.
Seniors are happiest when they feel safe and comfortable in their own homes. With many seniors living with family members because of the pandemic, it’s important for the whole family to be safe and happy.
As your loved ones age, they need help. When Abington Caregivers become the Agency servicing your client, we will certainly review your home safety checklist for older adults and advice on safety issues. If the safety issues identified are not within the Agency scope of practice then an Agency representative will advise which safety professionals may need to look at the home. contact us today at (215) 600-3434