For many people with aging loved ones still living on their own, the home can quickly become a dangerous place. Mobility and balance problems can impair our ability to safely navigate even the most familiar of surroundings, transforming the homes we love into harrowing obstacle courses.
But, this doesn’t necessarily mean our loved ones need to pack their bags and downsize to a safer, maintenance-free living arrangement. Before jumping to that conclusion, consider the following home safety tips for seniors that could help your loved one age more safely in place.
1. Secure or Remove Throw-Rugs
While they may look appealing in our homes, throw-rugs pose a serious tripping hazard to seniors. Our feet can easily catch an edge or a corner and before we know it, down we go. If the throw-rugs have sentimental value, consider securing them to the floor using double-sided tape. Or, roll them up and find a safe place to store them where they won’t become another tripping hazard.
2. Get Rid of Precariously Placed Extension Cords
Extension cords are great for connecting our appliances and gadgets to hard-to-reach wall outlets, but it’s easy to become entangled in them – especially when they span across doorways and other high-traffic areas. If re-routing the extension cord is impossible or impractical, use heavy-duty tape to fasten the cord securely to the floor.
3. Relocate the Washer and Dryer to the Main Floor
Sure, this tip requires more leg work and logistical planning, but it can drastically cut down on the number of stairs your loved one needs to navigate during a given day. Before reconfiguring the laundry room, however, make sure to consult with a licensed electrician and, if necessary, a licensed plumber to re-route any gas lines.
4. Install Indoor or Outdoor Chair Lifts
Indoor and outdoor lifts are perfect for people who have difficulty climbing stairs. Not only can they help your loved ones maintain their independence, they can also prevent pain due to aching joints or arthritis. Best of all, today’s modern chair lifts are equipped with comfortable padding and even back-up batteries to keep you moving should the power go out.
5. Place Fire Extinguishers on Each Floor of the Home
In the event of a fire-related emergency, it’s important for your loved ones to have quick access to a fire extinguisher. If they only have one, they may not be able to safely retrieve it in time to be of any use. That’s especially true if your loved ones already have difficulty getting around. While we’re on the topic of fire safety, don’t forget to regularly check the smoke detector batteries and replace them at least once a year.
Committed to Helping Your Loved Ones Age in Place
While we whole-heartedly believe that our senior living communities could be the perfect solution for your family, we understand the powerful emotions behind such a decision. That’s why we’re here to help support you and your loved ones in any way we can – whether that means taking you on a tour of one of our communities, or simply by publishing helpful content like this article on home safety tips for seniors.