Senior citizens comprise a vulnerable population, and accidents that a typical adult can shrug off may lead to serious consequences for them. Even when they stay at home, seniors are still prone to accidents. Some conditions make them more at risk of injuries, such as vision problems, difficulty with balance, foot pain, vitamin and mineral deficiency, and certain medications (such as tranquilizers). Home hazards also play a significant role in these accidents.
Caring for senior citizens requires not just watching over them but also taking preventive measures to ensure that they stay safe. If you want to maximize your home’s safety and prevent senior accidents, here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
Home Safety Tip #1: Check for Fall Risks
Fall injuries, for example, are common among this population. The CDC states that emergency rooms treat over 3 million older people a year because of these injuries. Oftentimes, seniors also don’t report falls, which can lead to unattended problems. To provide an extra layer of protection for moments when you may not be able to watch over them, check your home for fall risks.
Make sure to remove slipping hazards such as throw rugs and clutter on the floor. A more open environment helps them roam around more easily and encourages exercise. It’s also best to replace old furniture because they’re prone to breaking.
Bathrooms typically are the riskiest part of the home, so it’s best to place rubber mats across the whole floor. To ease their access to the toilet, install grab bars.
Tip #2: Reduce Fire Hazards
Seniors are also prone to fire-related accidents, so you need to remove as many fire hazards as you can. Assess the cords of all appliances, making sure to replace any frayed or damaged ones. Candles are also common causes of fires when they’re left burning too long, so it’s best not to give seniors access to them. There are plenty of battery-powered alternatives if they would like to enjoy the feeling of a flame.
You can also coach your loved one on how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothes catch fire. To further ensure the home’s safety, you must also make sure that all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.
Tip #3: Keep the Home Well-Lit
Failing eyesight is common in many seniors, so it’s essential to keep all parts of the home well-lit. Replace dim, flickering, or burnt-out light bulbs and install new light fixtures in darker areas of the home. To ensure that your home is properly lit, stand on one corner of the room and check if you see a clear path. If you have a hard time seeing a way out of the room, you may need to install more lights.
Tip #4: Make Emergency Numbers Accessible
It’s always important to help seniors remember emergency numbers in case anything goes awry. Give them a way to call these hotlines and post some notes with all the necessary numbers to call. These may either be 911, the fire department, poison control, your senior’s caregiving service, a healthcare provider, or emergency contacts. Make sure that they can easily read the numbers they have to call.
Evaluate Your Home’s Safety
Caring for seniors is a challenging but rewarding endeavor, and we must do what we can to ensure that they live a long, happy life. With these home safety tips in mind, you can better ensure that their sanctuary remains a peaceful space to live.
If you need help with fall prevention for seniors in Denver and Colorado Springs, CO, let Gateway Home Health Hospice assist you. We offer risk assessment and prevention services to ensure that your abode stays a safe place for your loved ones to live in. Evaluate your home’s safety—contact us today!