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10 Home Safety Tips for Seniors

June 8th, 2009 · 6 Comments

People who are 65 and older are at increased risk of a fatal or non-fatal fall in their home. As people age, they become more susceptible to accidents in the home. Fading eyesight, balance and disorientation problems, and memory loss can all contribute to the possibility of a fall or other home incident.

Here are a few safety tips to keep your loved on safe in their own home.

  • Declutter. Removing possible hazards in the home helps prevent falls from tripping, stumbling, or bumping into non-essential furniture, scatter rugs, nicknacks, and anything else that could cause a serious injury.
  • Have their vision checked at least once a year. Some insurance providers and Medicare/Medicaid only approve payment for visits every two years. Check your insurance for details.
  • Keep cords from telephones, TV sets, fans or heaters out of walkways. Tuck them as close to the wall as possible and never have them extended across a room. Not only can the fall harm a person, but they could fall and hit their head on the corner of a piece of furniture.
  • Keep everything off a stairway. Don’t leave shoes, books, or other items on the stairs to take up at a later time. People walking up or down stairs may not see what has been placed on the steps. Beware of carpeted stairs or wooden stairs that have been varnished. It is easy to slip on stairs when going down, if one is not careful. Not all stairways have guardrails, so at least placing a hand on the wall while carefully stepping down will help prevent a fall.
  • During the day, keep window shades, curtains, and blinds open for optimal sunlight. At night, keep adequate lights on in the home until your loved one is safely tucked into bed.
  • Make sure light bulbs are of adequate brightness and not burned out, especially in  little used locations such as basements and attics.
  • Install nightlights in bathrooms, kitchens, and hallways. You may want to consider keeping them on during the day if there is little light in the room or hallway.
  • Add grab-bars to bathroom showers, tubs, or beside the toilet.
  • Wear shoes outside and shoes or solid-soled slippers indoors.
  • Keep a large-print copy of emergency numbers by each phone. Make sure the numbers are kept up to date.

Most aging Americans want to stay in their own homes. As long as proper care is taken to assure their safety, many are able to remain where they are familiar and close to friends and neighbors. With a few simple steps, many elders can remain in their home for many more years than they, or you, might expect.

Tags: Aging · Elder Care


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6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mary // Jun 11, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Another hint I have is get rid of throw rugs. My Dad didn’t pick up his feet when he walked and he constantly tripped over throw rugs. For his safety we ended up putting all the throw rugs in the garage.

  • 2 Kaye - SandwichINK // Jun 13, 2009 at 12:20 am

    This is an excellent list! I am going to have to bookmark it!

    I especially agree with the multiple bars for the bathroom. When we remodeled the bathroom in one of our houses, I even put one bar in where the towel bar went. We used it as the towel bar, but I knew it would be safer for my aging parents to have in case they started to fall. Then, if they grabbed the bar with the towels, they would be safe, rather than pulling it from the wall.

  • 3 Edie // Jun 13, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Mary, you are so right. I’ve noticed lately how much my dad is shuffling rather than walking. Thankfully, I talked him out of keeping a favorite throw rug in the living room after he tripped over it a couple of times (His aunt had created the rug). Thanks for reminding us of this danger.

  • 4 Jackie // Jun 15, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Electrical safety within the home is very important and should be payed close attention to. Making sure that your home is equipped with the proper safety features and devices can be life changing. A new product, a fire-prevention outlet, is something that should be installed in every home! What this product is able to do is detect abnormal heat within the electrical circuit and wiring, and once this heat has been detected by the outlets multiple sensors, the power to the circuit is cut off. Once this occurs, a potential fire has been stopped and in turn saves your home, property, and lives.

  • 5 Mary // Jun 15, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Edie, Take the throw rug and have it cleaned and then hang it on the wall. This way your dad will enjoy the rug and he will still be safe.

  • 6 Tuesday // Jun 19, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Rugs are definitely a hazard as well I agree, & I know they say the bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house for seniors, but I think it’s important to spend a lot of time making the kitchen safe as well, particularly paying attention to stove safety. Thanks for this post & all these great tips, here are some more senior safety tips, if you’re interested I’ve included the link below.

    http://home-care-phoenix.carebuzz.com/senior-safety-on-stairs/

    Best,
    Tuesday

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