We share so many happy memories and joyful times in our homes that it can be hard to imagine the dangers they may present. According to the official NIH Senior Health website, six out of every 10 falls occur at home. The risk increases as we age and become less mobile. Home maintenance can be a real challenge for seniors and people with disabilities.
However, there are simple ways to increase the safety of your home. As you implement the strategies below, be sure to keep independence and comfort in mind.
1. Take Stock of the Home
The first step to creating a safe and comfortable home for all begins with an overall survey of the home. This is the ideal time to note any problem areas as you prepare to address them. Be sure to jot down any areas of the home that are already giving you or your loved ones trouble.
2. Address the Most Important Areas First
Start with the bathrooms. Make sure all of the lights are in working order, and the water running in the faucets is set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Check to see that the faucets are properly marked as hot and cold. Be sure to add non-slip mats, and consider installing safety rails in the shower or tub.
Follow up with the kitchen. A general decluttering of the area is often an easy place to start. Next, test the appliances and remove any that are in poor condition. Toss expired foods from the pantry and refrigerator. Remove any items from the floor as they present a tripping hazard.
3. Don’t Forget About Drug Safety
Meet with your healthcare provider to review the drugs you or your loved one are taking. These drugs should be properly labeled and stored at all times. Follow the instructions of your healthcare provider regarding dosage and frequency. Be sure to consult him or her before mixing prescription and nonprescription drugs.
You may find it useful to divide the medicine by day with a weekly dispenser. Finally, remove all expired drugs and medicines you no longer use from the home.
4. Leave a Light On
Lights are one of the most important but oft-forgotten-about aspects of home safety. Navigating our way through our homes become even more difficult as we age. A few simple night lights in the bathrooms, stairwells, and hallways can make a real difference. Lights that operate by motion sensors are an excellent choice for high traffic areas.
5. Keep Things Accessible
Store everyday items at waist or eye level for ease of access. Make sure you can easily reach the on-off switch of any lamps. Separate cords from each other and keep them away from high-traffic areas. Organize toiletries and personal care items in a handy tote.
At Matrix Home Health Care Specialists, you’ll find in home health care services designed to maximize comfort and ensure safety. To learn more about our services, reach out to our team of caregivers by calling 952-525-0505.