How to Create a Safe Living Environment for Seniors
07 Aug 2017
Living alone at any age can bring concerns of safety and security. Especially for a senior, living alone can bring the joy of independence or the fear of accident and injury leaving them unable to call for help. If you have an aging loved one living alone, whether in their own home or in an independent living community, there are many steps you can take to create a safe living environment. Here are a few examples of safety measures you or your loved one should take.
Creating a Safe Living Environment In the general living area…
The living room and hallways of a home tend to be high traffic areas that also pose many safety concerns for seniors. Here are some essential steps to remove the main safety concerns from these areas.
- Keep a fire extinguisher on every floor
- Remove or tack down moveable rugs
- Ensure all stair rails are sturdy
- Remove electrical cords from walking areas
- Avoid applying slippery wax to surfaces
- Use a properly fitting walking aid
- Never stand on a ladder or chair
Creating a Safe Living Environment In the kitchen…
Aside from the living room, the kitchen tends to be the place where we spend our most time and where we make many fond memories. Keep the kitchen a source of joy, not a source of worry, but implementing a few key safety practices.
- Clearly mark on all appliance their on and off positions
- Store hazardous items, like cleaning products, separate from food
- Frequently check expiration dates on food items
- Keep floors and counters free of clutter
- Store sharp objects, like knives, in a rack not a drawer
Creating a Safe Living Environment In the bathroom…
The bathroom can pose one of the biggest dangers to senior safety, as it’s the room they have to get to multiple times a day that also combines dangerous elements like slicks surfaces, small spaces and water. Here are some tips for making the bathroom a safer place.
- At night, leave a night light on
- Clearly mark faucets hot and cold
- Decrease water temperature to not exceed 120 degrees F
- Securely install bath aids such as railings and grab bars
- Place non-skid surfaces on the bottom of the tub
- Install door locks that can be opened from both sides
- Avoid bathing when home alone, if possible
Creating a Safe Living Environment with a Medical Alert System
Finally, what might be the most beneficial safety measure you can take is to provide your aging loved one with a medical alert system. There are many companies that make products that allow people to immediately call for help if they’ve fallen or have any other type of emergency with a simple click of a button that is always on them. This will give you both peace of mind knowing your loved one will never be stuck alone, in an emergency situation, without the ability to call for him. It’s a small investment that is well worth the cost, even if it never has to be used!