Home Safety Tips for Seniors

Home Safety Tips for Seniors

Whether you are moving into a smaller home or apartment in an independent living community or just planning on staying in the house you’ve lived in for years and hiring a home care agency, you should consider some practical improvements to your home.  With the addition of a few safety features, you can rest assured that your home will remain safe and secure.

Many aging individuals want to stay independent for as long as they can. Quite often their families feel the same way as well. However, safety is a major concern. According to the National Safety Council, falls are the leading cause of injury death among seniors 65 and older. Not all falls and accidents can be eliminated, but by addressing the potential hazards in a home, safety and peace of mind can be greatly increased.

The bathroom

The most dangerous room inside the home is the bathroom. Slips and falls are more common here than in any other part of the house. With a combination of hard surfaces, cramped space, and wet surfaces, bathroom safety is a serious concern for aging individuals.

Bath and shower safety should take priority when addressing potential hazards inside the home. The installation of grab bars inside and outside the bath tub will make getting in and out much easier and safer. Installing grab bars will reduce the urge to reach for the towel rack for support, which is not designed to support weight.  The toilet is another area where grab bars would be beneficial. A raised toilet seat will also make it easier to use.

Another consideration is the addition of a seat or bench inside the shower or tub to sit on or use as additional support.  If a bathtub has sliding shower doors, consider removing these and replacing them with a shower curtain.

The kitchen

Simple fixes in the kitchen can make this area safer and more user-friendly. Consider replacing the existing cabinet hardware with something easier to grab if the current handles make it difficult to get a good grip. Consider replacing the kitchen faucet for the same reason. Levered handles are much easier to use than knobs. Also check below the sink to ensure there are no plumbing leaks which could pose a slip hazard or encourage mold and mildew.

Other areas to check

Proper lighting is of prime importance in the home. Aside from ensuring each room has light fixtures that produce enough light for aging individuals to see by, the addition of night lights will enhance safety at night, especially when placed in hallways, stairways, and bathrooms.

Remove clutter or extra furniture that may pose as a hazard. This would include any furniture that may tip over if used for support. Cushion the sharp edges of furniture or vanities if these pose a hazard.

Make the house thermostat easier to read and adjust by installing one with a large backlit display. Adjust the temperature on the water heater, if needed, to prevent the chance of being scalded. Inspect or install smoke alarms and replace the batteries annually. In the event of an emergency, make sure you have an escape plan.

We all want to stay independent for as long as we are able to take care of ourselves. With a few basic safety additions and checks to the home, older adults can extend this time and keep their peace of mind as well.

Senior Advisor's knowledgeable writers blog about senior care services, trends and more.

5 Comments

  1. Estella October 18, 2013 Reply

    Just a tip – I bought some really cheap small carpet dots recently and attached
    them to the bottom of the feet of my dining area chairs.
    No more scraping along the floor boards whenever
    my little girl makes use of them like a walker!

    Here is my web blog … Estella

  2. Joan February 13, 2014 Reply

    I think this is one of the most important info for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general things,
    The site style is perfect, the articles is really nice : D.
    Good job, cheers

    my site … Joan

  3. Dan Taylor September 22, 2014 Reply

    I applaud your site and the help that you are giving seniors with your good advise. I tell seniors about your site and use your material whenever I get a chance. Our company deals with Medical Monitoring Alert Buttons for the elderly and also Home Security for them and I always like finding sites that are devoted to helping the elderly in some way. Keep up the great work and if you get a chance come over to our site and download the free e-book that we’ve put together to help the elderly as well.

    Thanks again

    Dan Taylor
    CEO Family First Alert llc
    Rt. 6 Box 6085
    Keyser, WV 26726
    304-788-9753

  4. Drew June 3, 2015 Reply

    This is so important to know when you are responsible for a senior. Lots of time they won’t complain about things they struggle with as to not inconvenience anyone. Thanks for sharing this.

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