You’re happy your senior parent is able to live on their own, but there are times when you’re worried about their well-being. While their home provides them with independence, security and a feeling of familiarity, it might not be set up for them to age safely. You’re on board with trying to make your parent’s home safer, but you might not be sure about what to look for. In this post, we’re going to detail essential home safety tips you can use to help your parents age safely.
How to Prevent Accidents at Home
1. Confirm Emergency Numbers and Ease of Phone Usage.
Does your aging parent have a cell or home phone they can use comfortably? Do they have a list of emergency contact numbers just in case something were to happen in their home? It’s important for older adults to be able to easily reach out for help should they need it. The problem is that many modern cell phones have a lot of extra bells and whistles that create a steep learning curve.
Make sure your loved one has a cell phone that’s more basic with larger keypad buttons and display window. That way, your parents will find it easier to dial numbers and see incoming calls. You’ll also want to make sure to have a list of emergency numbers written down and posted in the rooms they spend the most time in.
2. Make Sure the Bathroom Is Safe
The bathroom is one of the highest risk areas in the homes of older adults. Not only does water from the shower increase the risk of falls, but it can become more difficult for seniors to use the bathroom as they age without any assistance to help them stay balanced. If your aging parent is having trouble, install grab bars inside the shower and next to the toilet. This extra support can really make a difference and reduce their risk of an injury.
Another way to make your loved one’s bathroom safer within a budget is buying a textured or gripped floor mat. You can place a waterproof no-slip bath mat directly inside the shower and right outside of it. This will help your parents keep their balance while they’re bathing and reduce their risk of falling because of the water.
3. Look at the Lighting Inside Their Home
As we age, it’s natural for our eyesight to diminish. That’s why it’s important to check the lighting in your loved one’s home. Dim or darkened rooms are falling hazards that can easily be remedied with a little effort on your part. Go through your parent’s home and:
- Find and replace any burned-out lightbulbs, especially ones that are harder for your loved one to reach.
- Install new light fixtures in any dark areas of the home.
- Buy some plug-in night lights for the hallways and bathrooms.
- Make sure there’s enough lighting in the major areas outside their home.
- Test the lighting of high-traffic areas by standing in the corner of each room and looking to see whether there’s a clear, well-lit path.
4. Protect Their Home from Fire Hazards
When you’re checking an older loved one’s home for potential safety issues, you can’t forget about fire hazards. The first thing you’ll want to check are the batteries inside their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Since smoke detectors are usually placed up high, it’s common for older adults to not change the batteries because of how hard they can be to reach. You’ll also want to check the power cords of all major appliances and lamps in their home. If you see any damaged or frayed cords, be sure to replace them immediately.
If your loved one’s safety continues to be a concern, it might be time to consider helping them transition to a senior living community. Heritage Senior Living can offer your loved one a beautiful open concept apartment and personalized support to help them thrive.
Explore Premier Senior Living Care in Wisconsin Today
At Heritage Senior Living, our primary goal is to help your loved one reach a higher level of wellness. Our expert staff takes the time to get to know each resident on a personal level. That way, we can provide support that helps ensure your loved one’s safety while giving them more time to follow their passions. Every one of our communities works to create a homelike environment where staff members treat each resident like family. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your loved one discover a more fulfilling lifestyle.