As we get older, it’s a good idea to take a closer look at how our homes are set up. We may need to do some modifications in order to make them safer. This is true whether we will be staying in our own home during our “golden years” or if we have a parent or an older family member moving in with us at some point. It makes good sense to modify things before the actual need arises rather than after someone gets disabled. The goal is to prevent any injuries in our homes that may lead to a loss of independence because we have to move to an assisted living facility or a long-term care facility.
One of the most important areas we need to check is the lighting in the house. Our eyes need three times more light than we needed as young adults just to see. Over half of fatal falls occur in the home. That means adequate lighting is crucial to our own or a loved one’s safety. Make sure there are night lights in the bathroom, hallways, bedrooms, and near stairways. Increase the wattage to the appropriate size in lamps and fixtures. If possible, get light switches installed at both the top and bottom of stairways.
Another important feature we need to examine is the amount of clutter there is in the house. Having too much unneeded furniture and “stuff” in a room can be just as dangerous as debris and trash. Walkways need to be clear and uncluttered especially if a walker or wheelchair is in use. Be certain that all flooring is in good shape with no tears in linoleum, broken floorboards, or unfastened throw rugs and runners. Stairs should have non-slip tape.
In addition to preventing accidents, adding other features can make performing our daily activities easier. Installing grab bars near tubs and toilets will help with balance just as railings on both sides of a stairway will. Adding a tub or shower chair is helpful if you have arthritis or are generally weak. One of the newer higher toilets makes it easier to get up and down. In the kitchen, having a gripper would eliminate your need to climb on a chair or stool to reach things in upper cabinets. Move frequently used items to lower cabinets where you can reach them. Cabinet and door knobs can be replaced with lever type handles which are easier to manipulate. Making these simple inexpensive changes will go a long way toward making your home safer as you grow older. It’s never too soon to start planning for the future. Do you have any other ideas for making your home “senior friendly”? Share below and visit us at http://www.trilliumhomecare.com