As we get older, daily tasks that were once quick and simple can become troublesome and even more dangerous than before. Though we might feel our home is the safest place for us, it turns out there are more at-home hazards than we may realize. According to the National Council of Aging (NCOA), an older adult is treated in the emergency room every 11 seconds due to a fall. However, there are simple age proof modifications you can make in and around your home that will help prevent falls and injuries.
Tips to Age Proof Your Home
Most seniors want to stay in the comfort of their own homes as they age. However, this can cause stress and worry to family members as it can become unsafe for a senior to stay alone if they begin to lose mental or physical capabilities. To create ease of mind for both the elder and family members, these are a few modifications you can make to provide a safe home for seniors:
- Eliminate Unnecessary Obstacles – Creating an open space in the home allows for fewer falls or other potential injuries. Reduce the number of furniture pieces in the room and leave a generous amount of space between walls to easy-access pathways.
- Age Proof the Bathroom – Seniors are more prone to falling in the bathroom due to slippery floors, unstable shower modifications, and limited space. However, by installing a non-slip bathmat in and out of the shower, installing handlebars, and using a shower chair can, you can help reduce the risk of accidents.
- Install Motion Lights – By installing motion sensors into your home, it reduces the chance of injury. Not only will the motion lights brighten a path, but it also turns off automatically, so seniors won’t be left wandering in the dark. Installing motion lights outside of the home are also a great way to ward off intruders.
- Remove High Kitchen Cabinets – For some seniors, reaching to grab an item from the top shelf isn’t an option. Instead, move items onto a lower shelf that is easily accessible for elders.
- Invest in an Extended Grabber – Rather than bending down to grab a fallen object or stretching to grab something from a high shelf, seniors can use a tool such as an extended grabber. This tool allows them to grab fallen objects or objects from high shelves without facing a risk of injury.
- Give the House a “Walk-Through” – If you believe your loved one’s home is age-proof ready, double-check by doing a walk-through of the house. Check for obstacles in the hallways, clear clutter, look for rugs, extension cords, stacks of magazines or books that could become a hazard.
- Stay in Touch – In today’s day and age, there are devices that make it simple to stay in touch with your loved one without them needing to be tech-savvy. Investing on a tablet such as an iPad, Echo Show, or Google Nest is an easy way to stay in touch via video without the need to teach your loved one how to access the internet.
Statistics show that one out of five falls does cause a serious injury such as a broken bone or a head injury. By creating these simple modifications, it decreases the likelihood of your loved one being injured.
Take It A Step Further with 24/7 Nursing Care
If you are still concerned about your loved one being left alone at home, consider hiring a home health aide or a companion caregiver. 24/7 Nursing Care offers free in-home assessments and has various caregiver placement services that cater to your needs. Call us today at 786-518-3622 in Miami-Dade or 954-949-1332 in Broward.
HGTV “How to Age-Proof Your Remodeling” (Retrieved December 10, 2019) https://www.hgtv.com/remodel/interior-remodel/how-to-age-proof-your-remodeling
Medical Alert Advice “Elder Proof You Home to Let Loved Ones Age in Place.” (Retrieved December 10, 2019)