Safety in homes is critical for older adults, especially when it comes to fall risks. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention shares that a staggering 1.6 million seniors seek emergency assistance due to falls each year. The cause of a fall could be lack of balance, an obstacle on the floor that causes tripping, or slippery surfaces. While bathrooms present potential dangers—80% of senior falls that happen at home occur in the bathroom—the entire home can be made safer.
Securing a home can be overwhelming, but we're here to help. Don't be afraid to start small, do what you can, and make progress. Here are eight ways to safeguard seniors' homes:
1. Install grab bars
Installing grab bars in tubs or showers give older adults something to hold onto when entering or exiting. Grab bars can also be installed near toilets to aid with leverage and balance, helping reduce the chances of slips or falls.
2. Add Nonslip Strips
In addition to grab bars, nonslip strips are an affordable way to increase and improved bathroom safety. Nonslip strips, bathmats, and tiles can be found in many home and department stores. A bonus? This can also be a fun, decorative addition to a bathroom.
3. Avoid throw rugs
Eliminate throw rugs to avoid trips and falls, or consider installing rugs with grips on the bottom.
4. Install More Lighting
Make sure rooms, especially bathrooms, have ample lighting. This will help prevent falls or other injuries. Keeping rooms well-lit makes it easier for seniors to see if any potential hazards are on the floor. Lighting is particularly important for seniors with vision problems or balance issues.
5. Upgrade Bathroom features
Tools and features can be added to showers, baths, and bathrooms to make them safer. Bath seating is easy to install and available in various styles. Hand-held showers also improve bathroom safety and come with a variety of settings and options. Toilet seat risers are great for toilets with low seating. Raising the seat with a riser can prevent falling.
6. Add Bed Rails
Similar to grab bars, bed rails can make getting in and our of bed easier and safer.
7. Switch to Lever-handle doorknobs
Lever-handle doorknobs, instead of round doorknobs, can be easier for older adults to open. This is especially true for seniors who have arthritis. Lever-handle doorknobs are typically easy to install and come in many colors, materials, and styles.
8. Reduce clutter
Reducing clutter in every room and space not only makes a senior's home more organized—it makes the home safer. Floors are a good place to start making space, but areas like pantries can also be organized to make items more accessible.
A safe, enriching lifestyle at Walker Methodist
Walker Methodist communities offer senior living designed with older adults—and their safety—in mind. In addition to a variety of living options, our teams work with dedication and compassion, making sure residents are protected holistically.
Curious about making a Walker Methodist community home? Contact us today!