A majority of seniors prefer to stay in the comfort of their own homes instead of transitioning into a nursing home or assisted living facility. Although, many seniors feel that they would feel safer in a senior care facility because there would always be someone to keep an eye on them and because the facilities are designed to ensure senior safety. If you decide to remain in your home instead of moving into a facility, there are several ways of senior proofing your home to make it safer. Several adjustments can be made including bathroom modifications to make maneuvering easier and safer, increasing your home security, and implementing safety precautions to avoid the risk of injury.
Increase Bathroom Safety
Bathrooms are often a fall zone for seniors because they are usually tiled floors and a slip could easily occur. There are several different ways that you or your loved one can senior proof your bathroom to make it safer.
One action that you can take is to replace your current tub or shower with a roll-in shower. Roll-in showers are wheelchair accessible and make showering much easier and safer. Even if you do not use a wheelchair, it is still safer to have easier access in and out of the shower. Roll-in showers do not require you to step in or out of the shower, which reduces your chances of an injury or fall.
Speaking of showers, it is a smart idea to install some safety bars in and around the shower area and the toilet. Not only can safety bars prevent a fall, but they will make every day life easier. Another modification that a senior can make to the bathroom is to raise the toilet seat. Toilet seat risers can be purchased for around fifty dollars at most home improvement stores. They are easy to install and can make going to the bathroom easier and safer.
In addition, it is important to make sure that the things you use daily are easily accessible. You can do this by making sure these everyday items, such as toiletries, do not require you to bend over a lot or require you to use a stool or ladder. The bathroom should be one of the first areas that you modify whenever you are senior proofing your home because there are various potential hazards.
Improve Home Security
No matter how old you are, you should feel safe in your home. Especially for seniors, it is important to make sure that you are as safe and secure in your home as possible.
One way to make your home safer is to install a peephole in your front door so that you are able to see who is at your door. Another even more effective way to make your home safer is to install a video doorbell. One common technology advanced video doorbell is called Ring. These doorbells enable you to view exactly who is at your door on your smart device. You are also able to hear and speak to whoever is at your door by using your smart device. Another great feature of these doorbells is that you get a notification if the doorbell senses movement so that you can check who is near your front door. Even if you are not home, these technology advanced doorbells can provide peace of mind because it notifies you any time someone is near your door and you are able to check-up on your home.
In addition, to ensure that your home is as safe as possible, make sure that you keep lights on at night and especially when you are not home. You can set a timer on some lamps or lights in your house that come on automatically each night, or it might be a smart idea to install some bright flood lights or motion lights.
Reduce Risk of Falls
According to the National Aging Council, one in four seniors over the age of 65 falls each year. There are several simple ways to reduce the risk of a fall. First, you should try to declutter your home as much as possible. The less clutter that is around, the less likely you are to trip and fall over something. One major fall hazard is throw rugs. Throw rugs often flip or fold up, which makes them easy to trip over. It may be a good idea to remove all throw rugs or at the very least apply a strong tape to the bottom to prevent them from flipping up.
Another common fall hazard is chords, such as extension chords, that are left out in the open. They are also very easy to trip over, especially if they are in walkways. It is a smart idea to make sure that any chords that are left out are tied up and out of walkways. One other way to reduce falls is to rearrange your furniture so that it is easy to move around and so that the layout of your home is as efficient as possible. In addition, it is important to make sure that your bed is made and that the bedding is not draped onto the floor. Each morning, make sure that your sheets, blankets, and comforter are tucked in to prevent a fall.
There are dozens of different ways of senior proofing your home. Some modifications can be fairly easy, such as removing throw rugs, and others can take more time, such as installing security cameras. Anything you can do to make your house safer is a smart idea. Your home should be a place of safety, peace, and security, so the safer your home is, the better.