The senior population is consistently on the rise, and the more they dominate the total global population, the more there is a need to protect them from injury and other untoward incidents. Along with aging comes the inevitable decline of one’s mental and physical faculties, which makes seniors more vulnerable to safety hazards at home.
If you are living with a senior or have senior family members who live alone in their homes, it’s important to do every means to create a safe home environment for your loved ones. Although you can’t guarantee a place to be 100 percent injury-proof, you can implement certain measures that could prevent it.
Even with all the tips mentioned below, it’s important to remember that falls can still happen and you should have a plan in place for that too. Whether you have a mobile phone nearby, a telecare system installed or you have a personal safety alarm, having something in case of an accident could save your life.
Fall-Proofing Your Home
Elderly people are at an increased risk for slips and falls, which could result in potentially life-threatening situations. This is why it is important to make your home as fall-proof as possible.
Make sure there are rails or grab bars installed in the rooms that a senior family member frequently uses. These are especially useful in bathrooms as being in a wet environment could easily cause them to slip. Aside from installing a raised toilet seat to your macerating toilet, placing nonslip mats should also keep your seniors from possible injury in the bathroom.
Installing Sufficient Lighting
A part of old age includes the decline in one’s vision, which is all the more reason to keep your house well-lit in all areas. Chances are, accidents are just waiting to happen in parts of the home that are dim or dark. Hallways, in particular, need adequate lighting as seniors walk through them the most. Installing night lights also work well for seniors who are more active during the evening.
For their convenience, you can invest in sensor lighting, which turns on by itself when someone enters a room. That way, seniors wouldn’t have to let go of a cane or a walker to reach a certain switch.
Protecting against Fire and Related Incidents
If you live with a senior and have to leave them alone at home most of the day, it’s best to keep them protected in case of any accidents. With their decreasing motor skills, seniors are less likely to be able to put out a fire and save themselves immediately.
To protect your elderly family against fire, tell them at least two ways to get out of your home safely. Installing a smoke detector at home also helps to alarm your neighbors about the situation and ultimately call their attention.
Just to make sure, avoid using candles at home, and turn off the heaters when leaving the room. If your elderly loves to cook, make it a habit to replace kitchen appliances that have damaged or fraying cords as these often lead to grim accidents.
Preventing against poisoning
If you are living with elderly family members, you may also be helping them take a ton of medication. But what happens when they are alone at home and have to take it all by themselves?
Make it easier for seniors to take their meds and avoid poisoning by keeping all medications in their original bottles as much as possible. This makes it easier to identify which is which among the sea of medicines that you have at home.
You can ask your pharmacist to help you paste large-print labels on each of them to make them readable for seniors. Meanwhile, to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning, never let the elderly heat your home using the oven, stove, or grill as these could emit this dangerous gas that can highly threaten their life.
Your senior loved ones are not as agile as they used to be, but they are still the same people who raised and loved you. Providing them with a safe living environment is the least that you can do to give back.