Keeping Seniors Safe At Home
All across the United States, a senior falls every second, every day. Sixty percent of these falls happen at home. Falls usually happen due to the physical challenges that naturally arise with age, together with debilitating conditions such as fibromyalgia, which affect muscles, joints and overall strength.
Along with guided exercises to help build strength and balance, there are several adjustments that can be made in a senior’s home to make it safer for them.
Remove potential tripping hazards
As of 2016, there are 47.8 million seniors living in America, with just under 80% of these people owning their own house. This makes it even more important to prioritize the safety of seniors within their homes, with advances in safety-conscious, wearable alarm technology being a welcome development. When it comes to the home itself, however, addressing potential environmental hazards such as clutter on stairways and hallway floors, uneven or slippery floors, as well as loose throw rugs, which are in 78% of senior’s homes. You can lessen the risk of a fall significantly by removing obstacles in walkways, as well as rugs (or add a good quality underlay, if the homeowner is particularly keen to keep the rug). Meanwhile, make sure the bathroom and shower have anti-slip discs or mats, as well as strong handrails by the bath and toilet to provide support.
Think about accessibility
Something that heightens the risk of a fall within a senior’s home is having important day-to-day things in places that are hard to reach. Make life easier and safer by ensuring that lights switches and plug sockets are just below shoulder height. Meanwhile, make sure that appropriate, frequently-worn clothes are accessible in the closet, and that kitchen utensils and appliances can be accessed easily.
Prioritize fire safety
A home fire is reported every 86 seconds in America, with cooking being the main cause. Make sure you have a functioning, easily accessible fire extinguisher and that you know how to use it. Also be sure to have smoke detectors installed in each room and hallway in the house. Test each smoke detector regularly to be sure that it is working. Take the time to put a fire escape plan in place, and make sure all regular visitors are aware of it. When it comes to fire safety, these sorts of steps can save lives.
Home safety for seniors: Even small adjustments go a long way
The American population is an aging one and most seniors live in their own homes. With this in mind, it is increasingly important to make the safety of seniors at home a priority. This doesn’t have to be making major modifications, but merely being aware of potential safety hazards and making some sensible adjustments accordingly.