As you get older, safety becomes more and more important, especially in the home. Falls, burns, and bangs happen far too often in seniors, but thankfully, they can be prevented by creating a home environment that is both safe and comfortable – read on for ways to achieve this.
Consider Independent Care
Your first step is to ask yourself if you or your loved one needs extra care. After all, a safe home only goes so far, and if you are unwell, a well-built shelf or a non-slip floor won’t always help. Admitting you need care doesn’t mean you give up your freedom – independent senior living houston, Texas, provides the healthcare you need while allowing you to live on your own. Basically, you get the best of both worlds!
Get Rid of Clutter
An untidy home is an unsafe home. Having bits and bobs lying around the place isn’t just bad for comfort, but it also increases the risk of falling. You don’t want to trip over an old teddy bear on your way to getting water in the middle of the night! Plus, a clutter-free home feels much more open and attractive.
Decluttering your home can take some time, so try not to take it all on at once and ask for help from your family. If the job is a big one, you can always hire a cleaning professional to help you out. Having a lot of items isn’t necessarily a bad thing and is quite common in seniors, but you must have a home for everything to ensure your space doesn’t become a hazard.
Sort All Repairs Early
It is easy to push home repairs to the back of your mind, but you must get them done early when you are more prone to illness and accidents. As soon as you notice a leaking tap, a wobbly doorknob, or a damp problem, call a professional (or a handy friend) and get it sorted right away. This way, you don’t have to worry, and you make sure you don’t harm yourself in the process.
Install Lower Shelves
As a senior, you don’t want to be pulling out chairs just to reach a tin of soup, so avoid this by bringing all your shelves lower. Not only will it make your life easier, but it’ll also reduce the chances of you falling and hitting your head. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to install shelves in a different style, adding to the overall environment of the home! Just make sure the shelves are as sturdy as possible when installing so they don’t buck with weight.
Check All Electrical Wires
If you haven’t checked your wiring in a while, now is the best time to do so. Before you test it, make sure to switch the electricity off first (for obvious reasons). Unless you’ve done this before and you’re feeling very confident, it’s better to get someone else to do this for you.
Buy Comfortable Furniture
Most seniors spend a lot of their time within the home, so why not make that time as comfortable as possible? If you have old, worn-out furniture, consider swapping it out for new, stylish furniture that feels like a cloud when you sit on it. It’ll make watching TV a whole new experience!
Excellent furniture isn’t just great for your comfort – it’ll also help with your posture and back pain. A great mattress, for example, can make a world of difference when you wake up in the morning. As contradictory as it may sound, it’s actually better to buy a firmer mattress for sleep, as it helps keep your body in the correct position. Have a look around for quality mattresses and see how refreshed you feel after sleeping.
Put a Chair in the Bathtub
Baths can be a little more difficult for seniors, especially if you have trouble with movement or balance. To reduce the risk of falling or slipping, install a chair in the bathtub. This way, you ensure your head always stays above the water while bathing.
Cover Sharp Corners
Accidents happen all the time, even when you do your best to avoid them. In these situations, it’s best to make sure your fall isn’t too serious, and one of the ways you can do this is by covering sharp corners. Think about it – would you rather hit your head on a flat floor or the corner of a table? While both will hurt, one will cause much more damage, so make sure there aren’t any sharp corners for you to injure yourself on.
Put Grab Bars in Bathrooms
Grab bars are an incredibly important part of a senior’s home. They allow for better support when going to the bathroom or using the shower, meaning you won’t get stuck in there. It’s also helpful for preventing falls – they provide something to hold on to in case of slipping (something that isn’t uncommon in a room full of water).
Are you having trouble getting up and down the stairs? Instead of pushing yourself and risking a nasty fall, install a stairlift instead. Yes, they might take a bit of time, but it’s better to use one and avoid accidents. It’s also great for restoring independence, as it means you can stay in your home with stairs without needing assistance every time you need to move around.
Replace Slippery Flooring
Even if your space has no clutter, you can still trip if your floor is slippery. To avoid serious injury, use non-slip flooring like porcelain tile, non-slip vinyl, or bamboo flooring.
You should also consider any rugs that might cause trips. If any corners stick up, use a rug gripper to make it sit flat on the floor.
Making your home safe and comfortable as a senior may seem like hard work, but with such high risks, it’s more than worth it. Just remember not to do everything on your own, as this could cause accidents itself.