Five Smart Ways To Safety-Proof Your Home For Your Elderly Parent

March 24, 2018

Most individuals know the importance of childproofing a house. But few realize that the safety of elders inside the house is equally important. The majority of the risks are associated with the seniors living independently, with their agility, sight, and physical strength dramatically depreciated, the chances of burns, drowning, falls, and other hazards rise exponentially. However, it is a lot more comfortable for the elderly to spend the remaining years of their lives in their own house than in an assisted living facility.

Fortunately, while a slight risk is inevitable, fatal mishaps and common injuries can be easily prevented. Here is how to keep your elderly loved ones safe and protected in the household:

1. Secure All Bathrooms

Most slip and fall injuries happen in the bathroom. Seniors can find it challenging to get out and into showers and bathtubs if lips stick up. These need to be replaced with zero-entry tubs and showers. Also, homeowners can install handrails that elderly persons can hold onto when needed. Rails can be deployed around the entire bathroom space. You could even install suction matting on the floor to make it easier for your loved one to move around.

2. Add Convenience To The Staircase

Stairs can be an obstacle and sometimes a threat to seniors. It has adverse effects on elderly who are suffering from bone or joint disease like arthritis, because there is wear and tear in the joint, due to reduced joint space. That is why stairlifts for the elderly make good sense. For those who do not know, stairlifts refer to chairs that go down and up a staircase and are supported by a motorized rail. Today’s top quality models include several features to enhance ease of use, attractiveness, and comfort in the home. Some even fold up compactly to open up plenty of stairwell space for others inside the house.

3. Equip Hallways With Lights

Low lighting at night can make aging parents prone to trip and falls. The best way to mitigate this hazard is to install night lights in areas such as hallways and bedrooms where seniors may travel during the night. Opt for lights that switch on automatically in low lighting conditions. Installing touch-enabled lamps in the living room is also a good idea, as is fitting stairway lighting in split-level homes. With smart, energy-efficient lighting readily available, there is no excuse to neglect these areas.

4. Reorganize Your Space

Accessibility is at the heart of a senior-friendly home. Ensure that you facilitate movement by rearranging your home fixtures and furniture so that walkways and halls are wide enough to accommodate the disabled. Place sturdy furniture where it can double as a support for seniors in areas where they need to sit down often. While doing all this, remember to eliminate obstructions between passages. For instance, you can tuck electrical cords behind furniture or tie them up neatly with cables to secure them.

5. Combat The Winter

Senior-related injuries rise during the winter season, because of the presence of slick surfaces and ice. Applying salt and diligently removing snow is needed to ensure the surfaces remain as safe as they are in the summer. Keep ice-melting salt and shovels on hand in case severe weather hits your neighborhood. Also, grab bars and railings can be installed to offer additional points of contact for the elderly.

Once you have taken these measures, slips and falls are much less likely to happen!

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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