How to make your home safe for senior citizens

 home safe for senior citizens

In today’s world, there are many people who are considered senior citizens simply because of their age. Some senior citizens are fortunate to live an extremely active and independent lifestyle. Many elderly persons end up living in a nursing facility or another type of long-term care facility; and, others live with family members. Perhaps you are caring for your elderly parents. Whether you are caring for them at your home or their home,

here are twenty tips that will help make any home a SAFER one for senior citizens:

  1. Utilize nonskid mats on the floor beside the bathtub or shower; and, use a non-slippery finish on the inside of the tub.
  1. Use grab bars to help maintain balance while showering or bathing, and to assist in entering and exiting the bathtub or shower. THE TOWEL RACK IS NOT A GRAB BAR! DO NOT HOLD ON TO A TOWEL RACK!
  2. Do not use bath oils in the bathtub, as this will make the surface slippery.
  3. Wear swimming shoes in the shower.
  4. Consider a toilet safety frame that can give stable support when sitting or rising from a toilet.
  5. Remove any loose or throw rugs that can be easily tripped over.
  6. Purchase non-skid material to attach to rugs so that they will stay in place easier.
  7. Turn down the water heater a few degrees it will help prevent scalding accidents.
  8. Install a ramp or rails at the entrance of your home.
  9. Install appropriate locks in your home. Don’t hide keys where someone can find them. If needed, an extra set of keys may be left with a trusted neighbor.
  10. Smoke alarms are a necessity in every home especially in homes of senior citizens whose sense of smell and hearing may have been impaired. Over 1,000 people age 65 and older die in their homes because of fires and burns. There are a variety of smoke alarms available including some that not only sound an alarm but also flash when setting off.
  11. Do not allow strangers or unidentified people access to your home. Always request a photo identification badge and ask for this BEFORE you let anyone into your home.
  12. Never give out any of your personal information over the telephone. If someone is persistent simply hang up the phone or tell them that you don’t do business by telephone unless you initiate the call.
  13. Make sure that your street number is identifiable to any emergency personnel that may need to locate your home. Large house numbers may be purchased at your local hardware store. You may also want to have someone paint your house number on your driveway or curb. There are special paints available to ensure that the painted numbers will be visible at night.
  14. Nearly thirty percent of all home accidents occur on stairs. Make sure that any stairways (both inside and outside) are well-lit and free of clutter. Handrails are a great safety feature for any stairway and need to be properly and securely attached to the wall.
  15. Wear shoes that fit properly, have a non-skid sole, and support your weight. Many athletic shoes are able to accommodate your orthotics and still offer comfort. Shoes need to be replaced about every three to four months. If you are not sure which type of shoe is appropriate for you, contact a podiatrist.
  16. Store medications properly in your home. Never mix medications and never take medications that belong to someone else. It is a good idea to review all of your medications at least once a year with your doctor.
  17. Do not leave the kitchen unattended while you are cooking. Wear short sleeves when cooking.
  18. Contact an Occupational Therapist for a home safety assessment. The therapist will be able to assist you with making any home adaptations so that you can be as independent as possible and still be as safe as possible.
  19. The responsibility of creating a safe home environment belongs to you. The majority of home injuries and accidents are preventable. Inspect all areas of your home often to make sure your home is the safest place it can be.

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