Essential steps for keeping seniors safe at home

Lana Bandoim's picture

It is estimated that one out of every seven people is a senior. The population continues to age, and the National Institute on Aging believes that the number of senior citizens will triple around the globe by 2050. This is creating unique challenges for families and caregivers as they try to help seniors stay safe in their homes. There are steps you can take to help your family members.

Advertisement

Make it easy to reach help

One of the easiest steps you can take to help seniors stay in their home is to make it simple for them to reach help during an emergency. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mentions that 2.5 million seniors require a visit to the emergency room because of a fall. Falls are a frequent problem at home, so it is crucial that older adults are able to get help fast.

A medical alert system can help seniors contact help while they are at home. These systems assist older adults by immediately notifying emergency services of their health problems or other concerns. There are a variety of medical alert system companies, so it is important to compare their services and find the right fit for your family members. These companies offer help buttons that can be worn or placed around the house. They also provide alarms, GPS tracking, fall detection features, two-way communication and other services.

Remove hazards from the home

A simple rug can be a hazard to a senior citizen who struggles with walking and balance. You can help by removing common hazards from the home and making it safer. You may want to begin by reducing clutter and getting rid of rugs that can pose a risk. You may also want to check floors and carpets to make sure they are secure. You can rearrange furniture, move electrical cords and eliminate problems in the house.

Advertisement

Add light features to the home

The American Foundation for the Blind shares that vision loss is a major problem for older adults. The issues can range from cataracts to macular degeneration. Many seniors struggle to see in the dark and may experience other eye problems. If you want to help older adults remain in their home, then you can install more and brighter lights to help them. In addition, you can add nightlights, so they feel safer walking around the house in the evening. You can also provide magnifying glasses and other tools to assist them.

Add safety features to the bathroom

The bathroom is considered to be one of the most dangerous places for seniors because most of their falls occur in this part of the house. However, you can help eliminate the risks and dangers by removing hazards and installing safety features. Older adults can benefit from having a bathroom that is designed for their needs.

You may want to consider removing throw rugs from the bathroom and adding nonskid mats. In addition, you can change the tubs and showers to walk-in models and install foldable chairs inside them. Grab bars are easy to purchase and can be added throughout the bathroom to help older adults. Also, you can help seniors maintain their independence by giving them long-handled brushes and easy to use shower supplies.

Long-term safety and changes

As older adults continue to age, you may need to make other adjustments in their home to help them avoid nursing facilities or assisted living facilities. Most seniors prefer to stay in their houses, so you want to maximize their independence while maintaining their safety. It is important to evaluate their homes and make changes that improve their lives and keep them safe.

Advertisement