7 Very Important Steps to Make Your Home Safe for Seniors
Statistics show that more and more elderly citizens are choosing to age in place as opposed to living in a facility. In fact, according to statistics that were gathered by AARP, as much as 90% of seniors want to live in their own homes for as long as they can.
One of the primary reasons why many seniors are gravitating towards aging in place is because of the independence that it allows. Senior facilities usually control their patient’s routines and their lives in general. But aging in place as a senior citizen comes with its own set of challenges as well. Fortunately, by making a few adjustments, such as installing a barn door, you can make your home more senior-friendly.
1) Comprehensive Home Safety Assessment
One of the most effective things you can do to make your home more senior-friendly is to get a professional assessment of the property. A professional can conduct what’s known as a 240-point Comprehensive Home Safety Assessment. This home safety assessment entails evaluating the exterior portions of the home, entry areas, every room in the house, garage, lighting infrastructure, and fire safety.
Once the assessment is complete, the advisor will provide recommendations to help minimize instances of falling as well as some tips to consider when it comes to improving the safety and security of the home.
2) Reduce Clutter
Falling-related injuries are the most common type of injury that senior citizens face when they age in place at their homes. Therefore, ensure that you get rid of clutter such as unnecessary rugs or furniture. Additionally, ensure that pathways remain clear and that you have an adequate amount of space to move around.
Old furniture should be discarded and donated. Many charitable organizations enable their donors to utilize a free furniture pickup service such as the Salvation Army and Goodwill. Clothing items can be donated via donation pickup bins as well.
3) Occupational Therapists
Occupational therapists can be best described as being medical professionals that help disabled and elderly patients when it comes to conducting everyday activities. They can also help the elderly when it comes to improving and maintaining skills that are essential for working and everyday living.
By working with an occupational therapist, they will try to understand how you function in your home and make recommendations that can help to enhance the safety and function of your home.
4) Age In Place Remodeling Project
If you have a larger-sized budget, another thing you can consider is to remodel the entire home to be more accommodating to seniors. In today’s world, you can hire contractors that specialize in conducting age in place home remodeling projects. Known as a Certified Aging In Place Specialist or CAPS for short, CAPS has been certified by the National Association of Homebuilders.
5) Electric Stair Lifts
Many older individuals experience mobility-related illnesses that make them prone to falling and sustaining injuries such as arthritis and muscle atrophy. If this applies to you, consider getting an electric stairlift. This can help to reduce your fear of falling in the first place as well as to improve the overall safety of your home. It’s also an ideal option for seniors that live in houses that have multiple floors.
6) First Aid Kit and Smoke Alarms
First aid kits that contain things such as antibiotic creams, bandages, antiinflammation medication, and other first-aid essentials can prove to be especially useful. The key thing to remember is that you should place these items in an area that you can access easily. In addition to that, ensure that your home is outfitted with a fire extinguisher for each floor plus numerous smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
7) Improve Safety Features in Your Bathroom
Statistics indicate that 33% of senior-related fall injuries occur in the bathroom. Therefore, you need to make small changes to improve its overall level of safety. For instance, a walk-in tub can help to minimize instances of crouching over. Additionally, a walk-in tub eliminates the need to step over an edge unto the tub. If a walk-in tub is not a financially feasible option right now, consider installing a glass door as opposed to a standard shower curtain. This can help to drastically increase stability.