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7 Ways to Make the Home Safer for an Older Loved One

By , 9:00 am on

According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of both non-fatal and fatal injuries in the elderly. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that over one million seniors over the age of 65 go to the emergency room each year for injuries caused by everyday items. Checking over your senior loved one’s home and taking the time to make it safer can prevent falls and other accidents from occurring. 

1. Install Grab Bars in the Bathroom 

Getting on or off the toilet or in and out of the shower can be problematic for seniors who have back or knee conditions or other mobility issues. Installing a grab bar can prevent your loved one from falling when stepping out of the bathtub and help him or her get off of the toilet alone safely. 

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. West Hartford families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

2. Hide Cords

If your loved one has extension cords or appliance cords that are strung across hallways or walkways, they could cause a tripping hazard. Hide them out of sight by running them against walls or behind appliances. 

3. Remove or Tack Down Rugs 

Loose rugs can cause seniors to trip and fall, and rugs with nonslip backings can still be tripped over. Remove the rugs from your loved one’s home, or tack them down to prevent falls. 

4. Keep Often-Used Kitchen Items Easily in Reach 

If your loved one is making dinner and suddenly needs the salt on a high shelf, he or she may be tempted to use a step stool or small ladder to get the out-of-reach item. Falls from step stools and ladders are the cause of many elderly injuries. Keeping items your loved one might need on lower shelves or on the counters will prevent him or her from having to get assistance to reach the needed items. 

Most seniors need help with cooking and managing other daily tasks. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable home care. West Hartford, CT, families trust in Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

5. Ensure Lighting Is Adequate 

During the evening hours, the darkness and shadows can make moving around difficult, causing missteps that can lead to dangerous falls. Installing lights that automatically turn on when other lights dim could help your loved one have an easier time navigating the home. 

6. Keep Walkways Clear 

Look over the various walkways in your loved one’s home to ensure they are clear. Furniture that is angled, juts out, or partially blocks entranceways or walkways can cause injuries. Rearranging furniture to give your loved one plenty of space to move around is essential. If your loved one uses a walker or wheelchair, it may be necessary to remove furniture to allow for extra space. 

7. Use Nonslip Treatments in the Bathtub 

Too many people rely on nonslip mats to prevent slips and falls from occurring in the shower or bath. However, nonslip mats can wear out over time, losing suction and causing slips. Applying a nonslip treatment to a bathtub or shower or using stick-on nonslip strips can make bathing safer.

Senior-proofing a home while managing other caregiving duties can be overwhelming. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. West Hartford, CT, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To learn more about our high-quality elderly care plans, call us at [ hca_phone].