Aging At Home: Home Safety For Elderly Loved Ones

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According to the Federal Housing Administration, nearly 90% of seniors who are approaching retirement would like to remain in their homes. Families and seniors should follow a home safety checklist to prevent injury, fall risk, and maintain independence as they age at home. These tips, when combined with home care , can help seniors live longer.

Make sure seniors are safe at home

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the most common cause of non-fatal and fatal injuries among seniors 65 and over. Seniors often have trouble recovering from falls due to their aging skin and lower bone density. According to Fritzi Gros Daillon, director of education advocacy at age Safe America , each prevented falls results in an average savings of $30,000 in rehabilitation and hospital costs.

These home safety tips will help you reduce the risk of falling and keep your elderly loved ones safe at home.

  • Avoid trip hazards. Low tables, area rugs, electrical cords and ottomans pose a risk. Keep toys clean if there are children or pets in your home. Cover all wires and cords with non-slip flooring.
  • Install grab bars in the bathrooms. The majority of falls in a home are in the bathroom. Age Safe America has launched a campaign called “Grab Bars are the New Seatbelts”. Grab bars are available at hardware stores, and can be installed by plumbers or other home safety specialists, as well as handy DIYers.
  • Add easy seating. Make your home more senior-friendly by including accessible seating. Seniors can make it easier to do daily activities like bathing and cooking .
  • Make sure you are aware of thresholds. Linda Bohmbach is cofounder and vice-president of sales and marketing of Home Healthsmith, a company that specializes in home safety modifications. She lives in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Raised flooring can present a danger to your safety and cause serious injury. Ask safety experts about flattening thresholds, adding indoor ramps, or handrails.
  • Don’t forget outdoor spaces. Regularly inspect the driveway for cracks and ensure that there is a clear path to your mailbox. Take away any hazards such as rocks or roots that could cause injury from your yard.

Home safety for the elderly is promoted by medical alerts and technology

Even if your relative isn’t tech-savvy these simple and straightforward devices can help seniors age at home by decreasing fall risks, managing medications and accessing emergency help.

  • Safety devices can help seniors stay safe at home. Bay Alarm Medical and LifeAlert are two examples of wearable devices that can be connected to cellular or landlines to provide emergency assistance. For an additional fee, some companies such as Medical Alert and Life Station offer fall detection.
  • Senior friendly cell phones keep older adults connected to their friends and family and make it easier to get emergency help in the event of an accident. Some phones, such as the Consumer Cellular GrandPad and the GreatCall Jitterbug, have built-in emergency networks.
  • Smart home gadgets “are a great way to help seniors become accustomed to technology,” Bohmbach says. Even seniors who aren’t interested in using technology can still benefit from reminders or services. You can also use smart devices to make emergency calls (landline to landline) and access audiobooks and music.
  • GPS tracking devices can be used by caregivers and their families to avoid wandering in seniors loved ones suffering from dementia or memory loss.
  • Telehealth services give seniors the ability to access doctors and nurses from their own homes. Gros-Daillon says that Electronic Caregiver was chosen for their customer support, 24/7 emergency services, easy to use systems, advanced remote patient monitoring, and strong customer service.

A home safety checklist can help to prevent potential dangers

Seniors who are aging in their homes need to take care of their home. You can create a home safety checklist that you review each month and recommend home safety assessments every year. These are some questions you should include in your home safety checklist:

  • Is there a smoke detector on each floor of the house?
  • Is there a carbon monoxide detector in the house?
  • Is there a way to easily extinguish fire in every room of the house?
  • Is the furnace in good condition?
  • Are towel racks, bathmats, and handles safe?
  • Are the light bulbs that have gone out been replaced?
  • Is it possible to install motion sensors or smart lights in darkened areas?
  • Are laundry lint traps cleaned?
  • Do you notice strange smells or signs of hoarding?
  • Are the locks and doors of your loved one working correctly?
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