Your Home Safety Checklist for Seniors
If you are helping a senior loved one begin home care, whether it is in your home or their own home, then it is important that you take a few additional steps to ensure their living space is as safe as possible. Safety is a top priority when it comes to in home care and it is something that should never be taken lightly. If you have never done a home safety check before, then it is time to do one in the home. Here are a few things that you should include on any home safety check to make sure you are helping your loved one maintain the safest environment possible.
- Remove clutter from the home and make a clear walkway to all important areas. Even something like an ottoman can be a potential fall hazard in the home. The less hazards such as cords, loose items and small furniture that get in the way, the less likely that senior is going to trip and fall.
- Make sure there is enough lighting in the home. As seniors age, it becomes more and more difficult for them to see in the dark. As their night vision continues to worsen, it is important that you are adding adequate lighting throughout the entire home.
- Pay close attention to the bathrooms. Make sure there handrails near the toilet and the shower. Check the bath mats. They should be secured to the floor and there should be a non-slip bathmat in the shower.
- Go through and check the smoke detectors to make sure they are working. Also make sure there is a fire extinguisher in the house.
- Check the stairs to make sure there is a sturdy railing along every step. Wherever there are steps, there needs to be a railing, even if it is not a full staircase. Even seniors who have no fall history may struggle to maintain their balance. Put some pressure on all of the railings in the home to make sure they aren’t loose. If they are, have them repaired.
- Move all daily items to easy-to-reach locations. If there are items that need to be reached on a daily basis, make sure that you are putting them in a spot that the senior can easily reach. This way they aren’t reaching or climbing up on items in order to get the things they need. This includes glasses, cups, medicine and food. If a step stool is a must, make sure that you get a wide, stable stool for them to use.
- Do you have an emergency alert system available? This is a must for any senior who is spending time in the home alone, just in case there is an accident. This can be a cell phone that the senior keeps on them at all times, or a Life Alert system where they can press a button and get help.
These tips are especially important for seniors who may be spending some of their time at home alone and who don’t have around-the-clock care. The safer their living environment is, the safer they will continue to be.
- Lori Thomas has decades of experience as a caregiver. Her writing for SeniorAdvice.com is informed by years of research as well as hands-on family experience caring for her now late mother, who had chronic health issues for most of her life. Lori is an integral part of the SeniorAdvice.com management team, acting as Vice President of Marketing and Chief Editor.
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