As we age, our bodies change, and simple tasks become more challenging. Unfortunately, this can also make our homes more dangerous and difficult to navigate. If you have an elderly parent or grandparent living with you, or if you’re hoping to spend your later years in your home, make a few improvements to reduce the risk of falls and other accidents. Here are five safety upgrades for seniors.
1. Safety Upgrades for Seniors: Add Handrails to Staircases
If your home has more than one level, add handrails to all staircases indoors and out. Handrails provide support and stability for those needing extra help when using the stairs. They also give you something to grab onto if you happen to trip. When installing handrails, use screws instead of nails to secure them properly. You’ll also want to ensure the railings are the right height; they should be about 34 inches above the staircase.
2. Install a Non-Slip Bath Mat
Another way to reduce the risk of falls is to install non-slip mats in the bathtub and shower. These mats provide extra traction and can prevent slips and falls when getting in and out of the tub or shower. Look for mats with suction cups on the bottom, so they stay securely in place. For added safety in the bathroom, install a grab bar near the tub or shower for support.
3. Remove Throw Rugs
Throw rugs are another common tripping hazard, especially for elderly family members and those who use crutches or a walker. Remove them from high-traffic areas like hallways and doorways where they’re more likely to cause problems. If you can’t bear to part with your favorite rug, secure it to the floor with double-sided tape or carpet tacks so it doesn’t slip around.
4. Install Brighter Bulbs Throughout the House
As we age, our eyesight often declines. To make a home safer for seniors, install brighter light bulbs throughout the house to eliminate dark corners and shadowy areas where someone could trip and fall. Put lights in common areas on timers so they automatically turn on at nightfall. Install motion-sensing lights outdoors, including on the front porch and backyard deck, so your loved one can safely navigate outside after dark without worrying about visibility.
5. Safety Upgrades for Seniors: Clear Clutter
One of the easiest ways to reduce accidents around the house is to clear the clutter from all walkways and stairs. Ensure that there’s nothing in the way should someone need to navigate the home in an emergency or power outage. Decluttering will also help prevent trips and falls caused by items left in unexpected places.
Making simple changes around your home goes a long way in keeping your elderly loved ones safe from falls and other accidents. By taking time to install handrails, non-slip mats, brighter light bulbs, and clear away clutter, you ensure your home is safe for everyone who lives there.