Every year, thousands of adults are tasked with the decision of whether or not to move their parents into a retirement community. While there are numerous benefits to these communities, many seniors may prefer the independence of their own home. In fact, a study conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons found that around 75% of research participants wished to remain in the personal home as long as physically possible. It is a tough decision to make, trying to find the balance between the seniors’ preferences and safety, however If the choice is made to keep the senior in their home, there are several safety measures that can be taken to help prevent accidents. Below are four steps to help make the home safer for a senior:
1) Hazard-Proof the Home.
As age increases, seniors may begin to struggle with their vision, ability to walk and their balance. Removing hazards from around the home that could cause incidents is one way to counteract these struggles.
- Remove any unnecessary throw rugs that may cause tripping.
- Apply nonslip coating to tiles or wooden floors.
- Make sure all railings are reinforced and sturdy.
2) Rethink the Bathroom.
With many slippery surfaces, bathrooms are one of the most common locations for senior falls. Also, because of the noise caused by a shower or running sink, it may be difficult to hear someone in case of an emergency. A few simple adjustments to the bathroom can help prevent these falls.
- Install easy-to-reach handles throughout the bathroom and especially in the shower or bathtub.
- Bring a shower chair or bench into the shower to use as support.
- Place nonskid mats both inside and outside of the shower, and well as near the toilet and sink.
3) Make Things Easier.
We all have our daily routines and activities that feel like second nature to us, however as certain capabilities begin to diminish, these routines become strenuous. By adjusting certain aspects of daily life, everything can go much more smoothly.
- Keep important and frequently used items at lower levels and on lower shelves where they can be easily reached.
- Purchase and place step stools with sturdy handrails around the house for places that require climbing to reach.
- Wear comfortable clothing and footwear that will prevent tripping and slipping.
4) Don’t Be Afraid to Use Outside Help.
A great compromise for a senior that doesn’t want to leave the comfort of their own home is to enlist the help of a third party.
- Hire an in-home caregiver to provide assistance around the home.
- Install a Personal Emergency Response System to be directly linked to an Emergency Response Center in case of an emergency. With BSG Medical Monitoring, our customers are connected to our award-winning Emergency Response Center 24/7/365, assuring that they will be cared for in the event of an accident.
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