Home Safety for Seniors: Preventing Falls and Injury
Seniors often want to remain in the comfort of their own homes for as long as possible but this can present many challenges as their needs increase. Even if you’re comfortable with your parent or senior loved one living independently, there will still be safety concerns to address.
Depending on the age and health of your senior loved one, they may have different needs than another senior. For instance, someone in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s will have different needs than someone who recently had a hip replacement. In any case, due to seniors’ increased risk of falls and injuries, it’s wise to implement as many home safety tips as possible.
Keeping your senior safe and protecting them from injuries will help them maintain their health. Maintaining and improving their quality of life is a good goal to keep and one that many assisted living communities follow.
To learn more about how you can ensure that your senior has a safe environment, read our home safety checklist, tips, and how an assisted living community may help.
Checklist: Home safety for seniors
Whether you’ve agreed to help your loved one at their home or they’ve moved into yours, their safety will be in your hands as their caregiver. Knowing that some of the most significant safety concerns are falls, poor nutrition, a decline of cognitive functions, and loss of mobility will help you protect your senior loved one the best you can.
With a few simple changes, the home of your loved one can be a much safer environment.
- Set up a support system. For seniors staying at home, communication with family and friends is essential. Seniors living alone are susceptible to isolation and depression.
- Hire home maintenance. As seniors age, lawn care and upkeep may be more difficult and dangerous for them. Hiring professionals will ensure seniors’ safety while keeping their home maintained.
- Get groceries delivered regularly. Most grocery stores offer delivery services for a minimal fee. This may be a great option for both seniors who struggle with mobility and those who struggle with cognitive issues.
- Keep your senior active. When seniors move into an assisted living community or another community setting, they’re given choices to exercise and socialize. When they remain home, they often miss out on these opportunities.
- Add technology. Make their home a smart home. With internet access, you can purchase interactive, voice-operated speakers like Amazon Echo. These allow your senior to control their televisions, lighting, thermostat, and make phone calls.
- Remain in touch with their doctor(s). To maintain and improve your senior loved one’s health and quality of life, they must keep up with doctor appointments. During your senior’s check-ups, make sure you discuss any new changes or concerns with their physician or specialists.
- Make the home safer by following the tips below. By installing safety features in each room of the house, your senior will be able to get around safer and easier.
Tips on preventing falls and injury in each room of the home
If your senior loved one is independent, needs little assistance, and is not showing more severe signs of dementia, you may want them to remain at home. Below you’ll find tips to help you keep each room in your senior’s home safe.
General safety tips throughout the home
- Donate unused furniture and items to decrease clutter
- Purchase your senior loved one an alert necklace that allows them to contact 911
- Install grab bars wherever your senior may need them
- Keep doors and windows locked
Specific safety tips for each room of the home
- Start with the bed. A senior’s bed should be lower to the ground, firm, and covered in sheets that do not touch the floor. This will help your senior get in and out of bed without tripping.
- Keep their paths through the bedroom as open as possible
- Keep all electrical cords and rugs out of the way to lower your senior’s risk of tripping.
- Remove clutter to make it as easy as possible for them to access what they need throughout the room.
- Install grab bars and purchase a rubber mat and shower chair to make bathing easier and safer for your senior.
- If they suffer from a memory loss disease, you may consider removing the mirrors in the bathroom. Seeing an unfamiliar face looking back at them may be frightening.
- Keep items that are used often within reach, so your senior doesn’t have to climb or reach.
- Install “single-lever” water faucet handles. Seniors find these easier than the standard “twist and turn” faucets.
- Rugs can be dangerous for a senior. Removing rugs would be the best option, but if one is needed, ensure that you use non-skid rug pads or tape to hold it down.
- Install nightlights to prevent accidents from happening when your senior is on their way to the bathroom at night.
- Test stair railings to see that they aren’t loose. If they are, they need to be tightened.
- If your senior has stairs outside of their home, they must remain clean and cleared off. In the winter months, they need to be shoveled and salted.
While your senior may do well at home after taking these safety measures, eventually, they still may need to transition to an assisted living community. If this time comes, there are exceptional communities that are offering many services and benefits.
Transitioning your senior to a community setting
While it may seem ideal for a senior loved one to age at home, it’s often too challenging for them, their family members, and caregivers. Fortunately, there are assisted living communities and memory care communities that can help and cater to the needs of their residents.
With knowledge, patience, and a little work, you may provide home safety for seniors. However, assisted living communities typically offer more safety features and security than most families can provide independently.
In senior community settings, security equipment such as cameras and alarms are used to prevent wandering and keep strangers from entering. Seniors and their rooms are monitored throughout the day, to ensure their safety and that their needs are being met.
The safety and security equipment used in community settings helps prevent injuries from occurring and now even the spread of COVID-19.
The Kensington Falls Church: A safe home for your loved one
The transition to senior living is a significant step to take, not only for your loved one but also for your family. Choosing an assisted living community or memory care community that is comfortable and feels like home can help smooth the transition.
At The Kensington Falls Church, our staff gives every resident love, attention, and the amount of assistance needed for them to thrive. Our Promise will always be to love and care for your family as we do our own.
While offering assistance, we also promote independence, socializing, and participation in life-enrichment activities. We know that together these will help our residents enjoy their lives and maintain healthy relationships.
Contact us today to learn more about our warm and cozy community and the special services we provide for our senior residents.