In the past, elderly individuals have commonly left their own homes to move elsewhere, such as a nursing home or an assisted living facility, but this trend has become less popular. Instead, seniors are increasingly preferring to remain in the homes that they have earned, choosing to age in place.
However, there is a reason that seniors move to assisted living facilities. These residences provide elderly individuals with the care and assistance they need to ensure they can safely live the remainder of their lives. At home, elderly individuals may not have a safe living environment — not without some changes.
So, if you have an elderly loved one who lives at home, check that their home provides a safe living environment. Additionally, consider the following tips when looking to make the home safe.
Eliminate Falling and Tripping Hazards
Elderly individuals do not have the same balance that younger people do. Seniors tend to have weaker muscles and bones and cannot handle themselves like they once could. It can be easy for seniors to trip, fall, and injure themselves if they lose their balance at home and elsewhere.
Knowing this, take the time to prevent such falls and resulting injuries by getting rid of tripping hazards in your elderly loved one’s home.
Throw rugs, for example, can add color to a room but can easily be a trip hazard if it’s loose or not secured properly. Because of this, it is best to remove the rug. If seniors insist on keeping the rugs, then make sure they are secured properly using non-slip mats and rug tape.
If electrical cords are sticking out and are in the open, tuck them to the side along the wall and/or behind furniture to ensure they are not in anyone’s way.
Additionally, find a place for everything so that contents aren’t just lying around the house, out in the open. If seniors have items that are no longer of use to them, donate or discard them so that they don’t unnecessarily take up space. This will allow for clear pathways.
Improve the Lighting at Home
When a home isn’t well lit, it can be easy for any person to miss obstructions which makes tripping even easier. But this can be prevented if there is sufficient lighting at home.
When lightbulbs go out, replace them promptly to ensure light is available when needed. If the existing lighting at home isn’t enough, then consider replacing them with new light bulbs and/or adding more light fixtures throughout the home. Even simply adding nightlights throughout the home can be helpful.
Motion detection lighting can be particularly beneficial as the lights will turn on when someone is nearby, and you will not need to take action yourself to turn them on or off.
Install/Add Safety Equipment Around the Home
Elderly individuals can feel safer in their own homes if they have equipment in place that helps them get around more easily. Handrails, for example, make going up and down the stairs easier, as they provide support. Grab bars offer similar support and are often installed in the bathroom next to the toilet and in the shower in case seniors need it.
If stairs put too much pressure on seniors, then consider adding ramps.
Adding non-slip rubber mats to showers, tubs, and slippery flooring can also provide seniors with some traction that helps prevent falling.
Furthermore, homes should have functioning smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. So, check whether they are working properly and replace batteries as needed. Homes will sometimes have pre-installed smoke alarms, but carbon monoxide detectors are a different story. If seniors do not already have carbon monoxide detectors, purchase, install, and test them.
In-Home Care Services from Assisting Hands Home Care
Just because seniors choose to age in place at home instead of at an assisted living facility, that does not mean they have to go without everyday care and assistance. There are home care services available to provide elderly individuals with the help they need to live safely at home.
At Assisting Hands Home Care, we offer non-medical home care services to seniors in need in Fort Worth, TX, and the neighboring areas. Within these elderly care services, we will create a customized care plan that caters to the client’s unique care needs.
Our professional caregivers are trained and qualified to provide in-home care to seniors. We can help with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing and showering, and restroom use. We can also help seniors by preparing meals, conducting light housekeeping, and providing transportation when needed. Our caregivers will do more than just be around to help your elderly loved ones; we will also be companions to them.
With elderly care from Assisting Hands, you can feel at ease knowing that the seniors in your life have the help they need to live at home safely.