As people age, it can be harder for them to get around their home and do the normal activities of life. Their houses can become dangerous places where they can fall or suffer other types of injuries. However, there are ways you can help your aging relative to stay safer at home. Below are some home safety tips to prevent older adults from getting hurt at home.
Get Regular Checkups
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that older adults receive a full checkup every year. They should talk to the doctor about their risks for falling. Certain conditions can increase the chances of falling, such as weakness in the lower body and problems with balance. By having a yearly exam, doctors can help seniors to be proactive in preventing falls instead of waiting for one to occur. In addition to a physical exam, make sure the senior’s eyes are checked once a year as well. Vision loss can cause a fall or result in other types of injuries, such as cutting themselves with a knife while preparing food.
Round knobs can be hard for older adults to open because of arthritis or other conditions that affect grip. This could cause the senior to get stuck in a room or outside. Change doorknobs to lever handles that can be maneuvered with the entire hand instead of needing to be gripped.
Improve Bathroom Safety
The bathroom is a commonplace for falls because of the combination of slippery surfaces and water. Install grab bars near the shower and toilet. Also, put non-slip strips or a mat in the bath or shower. Depending on the senior’s condition, a shower bench might be needed. Also, adjust the temperature on the water heater to prevent accidental scalding.
Get Rid of Loose Rugs and Clutter
It’s easy to catch a toe on a loose rug or a stack of old magazines, which can cause a fall. To prevent tripping over these items, remove loose rugs and keep the house tidy and free of clutter. Pick up items left lying around, such as a pair of shoes or a discarded newspaper.
Use Elderly Care
Elderly care providers can also help to prevent older adults from getting injured at home. Elderly care providers can take over tasks that might be too difficult for older adults. For example, an elderly care provider can change lightbulbs, so the house stays well lit, also eliminating the need for the older adult to climb on a step ladder or chair. Elderly care providers can also assist with cleaning the house, removing clutter and putting things in their proper places. An elderly care provider can even help your older family member to get safely in and out of the bathtub or shower.