When you have an elderly loved one who has health issues, making the house safe for them is essential. The statistics show that every second senior has an injury because of a fall at home. While one fall may be safe, other ones can lead to cuts, broken bones, hip fractures, and serious brain and head injuries that can cause death.
Provide the highest sense of security for your aging loved one with these fall-prevention home safety tips for seniors:
- Invest in high-quality nonslip mats
These are particularly must-haves for showers, bathrooms, toilets, hallways, porches, kitchens, and any other room with slick surfaces. Make sure you secure the mats properly.
- Install handrails and grab bars
Many seniors confess handrails and grab bars make their lives easier, but not everyone dares to add such clumpy details to their home décor. However, these “details” can save a life. Ditch the home décor standards and install handrails and grab bars in the stairway, hallway, bathtub, and toilet. Safety is much more important than the beauty, isn’t it?
- Remove all the unnecessary things
When a house is jam-packed with clutter, the risk of falls significantly increases. Your aging loved one needs a lot of clear space to move, so declutter the house and throw away those old newspapers, furniture, and chairs.
- Handle home fixtures
Check out each corner in the house to find and fix any tripping hazards that can cause falls. Take a look at the furniture and floors to estimate their condition. The house doesn’t have to be perfect, but it must have as less problems as possible.
- Remove the stairs or add two secure rails to them
The stairs are highly dangerous to seniors. Eliminating them from the house will reduce the chance of falls. If you can’t remove the stairs, add two secure rails and a ramp to them.
- Install proper lighting
Seniors often have vision problems so it’s hard for them to see the obstacles and hazards. Increase lighting around the house by installing brighter light bulbs, especially at the bottom and top of the stairs and narrow hallways. Also, add a few night-lights to bedroom and bathroom for safer night toilet trips.
- Swap socks for flats
Wearing shoes in the house sounds weird, but in reality, it’s a proven way to avoid falls. Socks present a high slipping risk unless you buy the ones with the grips on the soles.
- Make wider doorways
Wider doors ensure a better maneuverability, particularly for seniors who use a wheelchair or a walker. Depending on the house size, make sure you have door widths of 35-38 inches. The wider doors, the better. If space is an issue, I think investing on narrow walkers for small spaces is a smart move.
If you have an aging person in your life, it’s your responsibility to help them feel safe and sound in their house. These 8 tips will certainly reduce their risk of falling and help them avoid the most common injuries that often lead to fatal consequences in seniors.