Despite being in old age, many older adults continue to choose to live independently as they want to have the freedom to do whatever they want to do. However, with age also inevitably comes certain drawbacks on bodily function, which can make the activities they do dangerous. Read on to find out some home safety tips and tricks you can adopt to make the home of older adults a safer place to live in.
Eliminating Fall Hazards
According to studies, it has been estimated that approximately 35% of those aged over 65 fall in their homes at least once a year. When it comes to those aged above 75, this figure then increases to 50%. This goes to show how common falling can be for the elderly even while in their homes. This issue poses an issue of concern, especially since they are more at risk of sustaining injuries like a broken hip or wrist given their brittle bones. Although it is virtually impossible to completely eliminate the chances of them falling at home, there are things we can do to keep the odds to a minimum level.
This includes the elimination of common fall hazards, which includes:
- Old furniture
- Rugs that have poor rubberized backing and don’t grip well to the floor
- Stretching of any extension cables or wiring
- Loose items such as clothes or shoes
Apart from that, older adults can also wear non-slip footwear when home to further minimize the risks of falling. Walkways should also be wide enough to allow for comfortable walking since older adults might have a harder time balancing.
Speaking of balance, older adults can also take part in programs to keep their balancing muscles working and robust such as the Dimensions Health and Fitness program, which is aimed at improving the spiritual, mental, as well as physical health of older adults.
Keeping Hazards to a Minimum
It comes as no surprise that most incidents occur in either the kitchen, where fire hazards are present, or in the bathroom where the floor is wet.
As such, it is important to ensure that such locations are maintained and well-equipped to keep safety risks low. For protection against fire hazards, you may consider:
- Removing burning or unattended candles. Candles are capable of starting a fire by themselves
- Regularly checking and changing the batteries used in the smoke as well as carbon monoxide detectors
- Checking the electrical cords of every electrical appliance. Replace any damaged or frayed cords with new ones
As for lowering risks of falls and scalds in the bathroom, you may:
- Install grab bars in critical areas of the bathroom such as beside the toilet bowl and the showering area
- Place rubber mats in the bathtub
- Replacing bathtubs with a walk-in shower
- Using a bathing chair in a tub
- Installing a night light
Regardless of the measures you might take to keep your home as safe as possible, it is important to note that incidents can still occur. As such, you should keep emergency numbers readily available at home and ensure that there is someone to help in the event of emergencies. Should that not be possible, then it may be time to start considering independent senior living residences, where older adults get to live independently yet enjoy facilities that cater to their safety and wellbeing needs.