Senior-Safe: Making Home Safer For An Elderly Family Member

If you have an elderly family member living in your home or if you're responsible for an elderly person living alone, you'll want to ensure that home is as safe as possible. Among older adults (aged 65 or older), one out of three of them will fall each year. For elderly care, a little prevention can go a long way toward a safe home environment. Here are some tips that will help to safeguard your senior family member against potential falls.

Corral the Clutter

For you as a healthy adult, the clutter of daily household living is just a minor obstacle course that you can safely navigate. For an older adult who is not so steady, scatter rugs, Fido's chew toys, stray shoes, or a child's toys are potential landmines of danger. Survey the floor space, looking for potential hazards. You may want to remove all scatter rugs permanently. Check that the edges of carpet or large area rugs are secure and flat to the floor, not torn or uneven in any way. Encourage other family members to keep the floors space clear of any excess clutter.

Talk to the Pros

If a health care professional – home health nurse/aide or a physical/occupational therapist, from places like First In Care Home Health Agency Inc, comes to the home to provide care for your senior family member, ask that person if he or she sees any potential danger spots in the home. With their expertise, they may spot a possible danger that would never catch your eye.

Let There be Light

Be sure that your senior adult has good lighting in the areas where he or she walks. Install nightlights so that the path from bed to bathroom is well lit for any nighttime trips. You can provide a flashlight near the bed, so your senior has quick access to lighting, if needed during the night.

Watch the Wires

Check the floor space for loose electrical wires that could be an easy tripping hazard. Place the wires to run along the walls, not crossing over open floor space or pathways.

Secure the Bathroom

Install grab bars near the bathtub and toilet. You can find these at your local hardware or home improvement store. Put a nonskid mat in the floor of the bathtub or shower for extra traction on the wet surface.

Hold the Handrails

If there are stairs inside the house or in the entrances in and out of the house, consider installing handrails on both sides of the stairs, so your senior adult can easily hold on for support or stability.