Everyone ages differently and some people enjoy the social benefits that come with a retirement community or other communal living arrangement. Usually, these residential communities are already designed with older folks in mind. Other older adults, however, may prefer to age in place in their own place of residence for as long as possible. If your aging parents are currently aging in place, here are some home safety tips that you need to know.
Mobility and Accessibility
No issue is more important than making sure that older adults can easily access every nook and corner of their home. For instance, older adults with mobility restrictions may find it hard to navigate stairs in a safe manner and need lifts or ramps. What if your older loved one drops something behind the couch? Will their mobility aids fit through doors? Can they reach their medicine, food, and other things on higher shelves? Consider their needs of daily life to help design a more accessible living space for your older loved one.
Anyone can trip and fall but falls can be life-threatening for older adults. Studies have shown that a minor ground-level fall is already enough to cause fatality among older adults aged 70 and over as compared to the general population. Heart disease, osteoporosis and other chronic health conditions make falls much more dangerous for older adults as their injuries need more time to heal and can have long-term consequences.
Fire and Natural Disasters Safety
Catastrophic events like fires and natural disasters can be especially dangerous to older adults with restricted mobility. They may not be able to escape a dangerous situation as quickly as others. Install appropriate alarm systems and emergency preventative measures to prepare for these unfortunate events. Communication is also important for older adults who do not drive and may not be able to escape on their own.
In America, older adults aged 65 and above are the least likely of all age groups to be the target of either property or violent crimes. However, older adults are still less likely to be able to protect themselves and their property should a crime take place. Provide your older loved one with peace of mind so they get to maintain their quality of life. Put in the time and effort to safeguard their property from criminals.
Making a Home Safe for Older Adults
- Remove Hazards – Remove furniture in poor repair, unsecured throw rugs, electric cords, extension cords, and loose railings. These hazards can increase the risk of a fall.
- Install Accessibility and Safety Equipment – Wet tiles and floors in bathrooms pose a serious risk of slipping. Use non-slip strips for the tubs and showers as well as grab bars for the toilets and showers. For accessibility, install lower shelves for storage and ramps for wheelchair users.
- Invest in a Medical Alert System – Older adults can reach out to emergency services should an unforeseen circumstance were to happen and immediate attention is needed.
- Install a Home Security System – There are many DIY systems that are senior-friendly and offer features like remote monitoring and emergency call systems.