For lots of us, this time of year means rolling up our sleeves for a little bit of spring cleaning. But while we’re dusting, sweeping, and scrubbing, it’s also a great opportunity to ensure the home is safe for seniors.
Creating a senior safety checklist can reduce accidents in the home, and there’s a bunch of little things you can do to make a big difference without breaking the bank. Here are a few easy things you can look out for that will make a big difference in the safety of a senior in their home.
Is there enough lighting?
Is every room in the house well lit? Could a senior navigate it in the dark with minimal difficulty? As we get older, our night vision weakens, so it’s imperative that adequate lighting is available across the home. An easy fix is to install night-lights in commonly visited areas of the house, such as hallways outside of the bedroom and in the bathroom. You could also have a few flashlights available in several rooms across the house.
How are floors and carpets holding up?
Falls are the most common at home injury for seniors, so it’s important that floors are clear of obstructions, and have even, clean surfaces. Check for loose boards in hardwood flooring, or for rips and tears in carpeting. Anything that could trip a senior should be taken care of. This includes area rugs, which should be removed, or secured so that they won’t slide or bunch up when being walked on.
Are commonly used doors easy to operate?
Built-in locking mechanisms are commonly found on bedroom and bathroom doors, but they can result in seniors inadvertently trapping themselves. Sometimes the best course of action is to remove them, and install lever-style door handles – which are easier to operate.
Are there adequate railings and handrails in the home?
Making sure a senior has support in instances where they may lose their balance is key. Are there adequate rails on stairs? Are they still sturdy and in good repair? In the bathroom, instead of using a towel bar, install a weight-bearing handrail or grab bar in the case of a slip. Installing one to also help with getting in and out of the tub might also be a good idea.
With just a few precautions, it’s possible to avoid even the most minor accident, and to keep seniors healthy and happy in their own home. What’s on your senior safety checklist? Let us know in the comments.