Falls are the most common cause of injury among the elderly. But falling is not only dangerous to your health and life, but it’s also expensive. So, preventing those events from happening can be a profitable decision.
This article is about how to avoid falls or any other accidents at home. Here we will tell you what other problems older people can face besides falls and discuss how you can make the senior’s home as safe as possible. We’ll provide a detailed home safety checklist for seniors and tell you what devices can help your loved one get the help they need when they need it.
Elderly home safety checklist to adjust your home for your loved one
Creating safety in the home for the elderly is quite easy. But to do this, you will need to analyze which areas of the house your loved one uses. It is essential not to leave anything out and optimize absolutely all places. You can discuss this with the elderly person to avoid mistakes, so he will be able to tell you where he goes and what he does during the day. We suggest that you pay attention to the places where your loved one might be at risk.
- The bed should not be too low or too high. Adjust the height of the bed by using footstools or a lower mattress;
- Install automatic lighting or lamps with motion detectors. You can also put lamps on either side of the bed to make it easy for the seniors to reach the light in either position;
- Take care that the electrical wires are not on the walkways. Place furniture closer to outlets;
- Install a cordless phone or emergency alert system close to the bed. You can also install a monitoring device, that will notify you if there is a problem;
- It is best to remove the carpet from the room. If you want to keep it, try to attach it securely to the floor with double-sided tape or a rug pad. Also, check that the rug is not torn or frayed;
- Remove any items that may interfere with the elderly person’s movement around the room.
The living room
- Remove all clutter and furniture;
- Check that chairs and armchairs are upright and not wobbly. If necessary, make repairs. Do not use very high or very low chairs;
- Equip the living room with lights with remote switching or motion detectors.
- Throw out old and frayed rugs;
- Install thermostats to control the temperature;
- Label all glass doors with stickers;
- Remove low coffee tables.
- Place a non-slip rubber mat on the bottom of the tub;
- Make sure that the cold-water faucets are visibly marked, so they cannot be confused. Also, adjust the water temperature so that it is not too hot;
- Check that all necessary items, such as soap, toothpaste, and toothbrush, are in an accessible location;
- Adjust the toilet seat if necessary. Make it higher or lower;
- Equip the bathroom with an automatic night light;
- Put a non-slip mat on the floor.
- Place dishes and groceries so that it is easy for the elderly person to reach them without using a stool or ladder;
- To ensure the safety of seniors at home, keep all cleaning supplies out of reach;
- Make the floor non-skid;
- Make sure there is never any expired or spoiled food in the refrigerators;
- Place a fire extinguisher in the kitchen;
- Install good lighting;
- Remove loose rugs.
Stairs and steps
- During a home safety evaluation for seniors, make sure the handrail is sturdy, not wobbly, of a comfortable height, and far enough away from the wall that the elderly person can easily grasp them;
- The staircase must be well-lit;
- The stairs should never be slippery;
- The treads should be high and wide enough for an adult to place their feet.
In this section, we’ve listed the main areas of your home that you should pay attention to when doing senior home safety inspections. But also keep in mind that there may be other dangerous areas in your home. Does your elderly relative use the garage? Or maybe they go down to the basement? Then you should add those places to this list at your discretion.
The most common issues you need to consider for the safety of seniors at home
With a detailed senior home safety checklist, you can easily secure an elderly person’s home. But also remember that some individual disabilities and illnesses may cause additional risks not covered by the checklist. Pay attention to possible health problems affecting a senior person’s ability to move around safely.
Hearing problems can make it difficult to feel confident and move around. Regular check-ups with your doctor can help detect hearing loss early on. One of the safety tips here can be using hearing aids.
Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency causes muscles to weaken, which can make an older person unsteady on their feet. A test may help diagnose the lack of vitamin D. The Doctor will prescribe a special nutrition plan based on the test result.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s
A person with these diseases has memory problems, thinking problems, and changes in reasoning skills. Therefore, it is unsafe to leave such a person at home alone. Galaxy Home Care provides Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Brooklyn, NY, and we will help you make it as safe as possible for your loved one to be at home.
If an elderly person has problems with their feet, such as pain or numbness, it is pretty uncomfortable for them to walk around. It can result in frequent falls. Therefore, it is recommended to visit a doctor regularly. Special shoes also can help to reduce fall risks.
Dehydration can lead to general weakness and feeling bad at any age. It is even worse with elderly people. To avoid this problem, remember to drink water throughout the day.
A person with poor vision may not notice a small object on the floor, trip, and fall. There is also a risk of confusing certain objects and misusing them. The worse the vision is, the greater the risk of injury. It is recommended that seniors be examined by an ophthalmologist at least once a year. The specialist may prescribe eyeglasses for the elderly person or some other treatment.
Vertigo can cause a person to become unsteady. And even if there are no external disturbances, the elderly person may fall on a flat spot. Therefore, it is crucial to notice this issue as early as possible and discuss it with a doctor.
A variety of medications can cause weakness and dizziness. In such cases, you should consult a doctor. It is also important to consider this specific factor when equipping a home according to the home safety checklist for the elderly.
This is the most obvious cause of frequent falls. To prevent this problem, your loved senior should perform various physical exercises. It will help strengthen muscles, improve joint mobility, and enhance balance.
Knowing these issues can help you take the necessary steps to make your home even safer and more comfortable for seniors. If you need help solving a particular task, we are happy to provide home safety services for seniors in Nassau.
Technologies for safety in the home for the elderly
So, you’ve improved your loved one’s house using the described above safety checklist for an elderly home. But do you know about technologies designed especially for seniors? Read below about the most popular technologies an older person can use.
Telehealth. This gives older adults access to all the medical information they need and get home health care any time they need it.
GPS tracking. This is a vital device if your loved one has dementia or memory problems. You will be able to track the senior’s location, and they will not get lost.
Medical alert. Your loved one will be able to call emergency assistance at any time. These devices usually look like a button attached in an easily accessible location.
Senior-friendly cell phones. These phones differ from regular ones because they have an extra feature to quickly call for emergency help. Also, some of these phones have GPS tracking, so you can easily find your loved one.
Smart home devices. These devices can have different functions. You choose them individually according to the needs of your loved one. For example, with these smart devices, seniors can listen to their favorite books and music, create a schedule of medications, set various reminders, and make emergency calls.
These technologies are easy to use. By adding those to the home safety evaluation checklist, elderly people can be sure they get emergency help as soon as they need it.
Consider Galaxy Home Care Your Trusted Partner
The health of our loved ones is the most precious thing. Unfortunately, everyone becomes more fragile and vulnerable as they get older. And such a problem as fractures becomes difficult to cure. In this article, we have given you a complete home safety assessment checklist for the elderly, so it will be possible for you to minimize the likelihood of falls and bumps.
Of course, you can take care of improving your home for the elderly yourself. But professionals will do it better. Our company Galaxy Home Care has been providing services to seniors for many years. As part of our elderly home safety services in Brooklyn, NY, we check the safety of such home facilities:
- Living space
We also provide such services as medication review, medical equipment, and supplies safety evaluation.
So, if you want to ensure home safety for the elderly, our checklist will help you with that. However, if you still need help with securing your home, you can leave a request on our Galaxy Home Care website or call us at 718-247-8300.