As we age, it’s normal for our bodies to decline. The more active we are, the slower this decline will be. In fact, some people may never experience extreme physical limitations.
However, no matter how well you take care of your body, you should never take your physical health for granted. Part of staying healthy relies on preventing injuries in and around the home. Home safety for elderly adults is vital for boosting your longevity as you age.
Home Safety for Elderly Adults
Breaking a hip by slipping in the bathroom could lead to physical complications for years to come. This can interrupt your exercise routine, lead to decreased strength and muscle mass, and so on. While you can certainly work past injuries and regain strength, it’s best to avoid them altogether.
Keep reading for 10 tips on how to keep your home as safe as possible.
1. Medical Alert Pulls, Bracelets, or Pendants
First, let’s cover emergency situations because regardless of how many precautions you take, accidents can still happen. It never goes amiss to be prepared for any situation.
We recommend investing in medical alerts throughout your home. You can install emergency pulls around the home in rooms you’re more likely to fall in such as the bathroom or kitchen. You can also choose to wear a medical alert pendant or bracelet.
These come with buttons you can push should you find yourself in trouble. When being alerted to your distress, the monitoring company will send help to your residence immediately.
2. Use Non-Slip Rugs
One of the most important home safety tips for elderly adults is learning how to prevent slips and falls. Even as a young adult, taking an unexpected tumble can lead to severe injuries. Using rugs with non-slip bottoms can go a long way toward preventing unnecessary falls.
We recommend using non-slip rugs throughout the house, especially in the bathroom and kitchen, where any water left on hard floors can prove treacherous.
3. Install a Home Security System
Another important aspect of staying safe is investing in home security. Unfortunately, some criminals target houses where elderly people live alone. They may expect you’ll have a harder time responding physically and will be less of a threat.
Installing a home security system can make all the difference in the world. Visible security cameras will deter most criminals, as will motion lights. Finally, should someone break-in (whether you’re home or not), the alarm will trigger and authorities will be sent immediately to your home.
4. Fire and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Two major threats to any homeowner are fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide is the toxic gaseous result of combustion. Humans can die from breathing in too much of it. Unfortunately, carbon monoxide is also clear and odorless, making it nearly impossible to detect.
Additionally, our homes are filled with things that can start fires. Poor electrical wiring, a malfunctioning appliance, or simply human error. To protect yourself and your home, you must have active, working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
You can also get heat sensors placed in specific places around the home that will detect unusually high levels of heat. These are great for detecting electrical fires before they start. Smoke detectors are great, but if they go off, it means something is already burning.
If you have a hard time going up and down the stairs, you may be better off not using them. One of the best tips for home safety for elderly adults is learning and accepting your limits. If your home has stairs, invest in a stairlift.
While these can be costly, it may be a better alternative to selling your home. Regardless, if you were to fall down the stairs, the repercussions could be unthinkable.
6. Store Commonly Used Items at a Convenient Height
One thing most people don’t think about in terms of avoiding falls or injuring themselves is where to store things. Reaching for things above your head or below your waist could potentially lead to injuries.
While it may not be possible to keep everything at an optimal height, make sure the things you use on a regular basis are stored above your waist and below your head. This will help you avoid bending down too low or using dangerous step stools to get what you need.
7. Install Safety Rails and Grab Bars
If you struggle with balance and muscle weakness, it would be wise to install safety rails and grab bars throughout your home. We spoke earlier of dangerous rooms such as the bathroom. Did you know 80 percent of bathroom accidents are fall-related?
For the elderly, the most common incident occurs trying to get up off the toilet. The simple installation of a grab bar can prevent falls and unnecessary injuries.
8. Keep the Home Decluttered
Keeping the house clutter-free is vital to home safety for elderly adults. Avoid letting clutter build-up which can lead to trips, falls, and severe injuries. This includes everything from furniture and boxes to excess power cords that present a tripping hazard.
9. Cover Up Sharp Corners and Edges of Furniture
Another potential hazard around the house is sharp corners or edges that could cause serious injuries. Coffee tables and counters could lead to severe head trauma if you were to fall into the.
Alternatively, simply walking into an edge or corner or a piece of furniture could cause skin tears, bruising, or worse.
10. Keep a Mobile Phone Close
Finally one of the best home safety measures an elderly person could take is to ensure they have a cell phone on or near them at all times. Cell phones are small and can easily fit into pockets. If you were to fall, get injured, or have trouble getting up, a cell phone could prove a convenient tool to call for help.
Looking for More Advice?
Remember, everyone needs help every once in a while. If you’re looking at home safety for elderly adults, don’t hesitate to reach out for help from friends, family, and loved ones. They can help you make your home as safe as possible.
Additionally, for more great news, advice, or information, be sure to check out the rest of our articles before you go!