Throw away throw rugs! They are a top culprit for falls. Here are some home safety tips to take to heart. We encourage you to make a to-do list and take action.
Why simple home modifications are helpful
Dangers inside the house add up over time, making it easier for older adults to trip, fall, and hurt themselves. Falls are a top reason why seniors lose independence and mobility. That’s why it’s so important to make their homes as hazard-free as possible. Safety updates improve:
- Self-sufficiency and self-reliance
- Comfort and convenience
10 quick safety solutions for bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen
1. Is the path to the bathroom clear and unobstructed?
- Remove any clutter or decorative items along that path.
2. Is there automatic night lighting near the bed and from the bed to the bathroom?
Get simple, inexpensive plug-in night lights that automatically turn on when the area is dim. Here are some options:
3. Are there properly installed grab bars and toilet safety add-ons?
- See our article on bathroom safety items, including grab bars
- For difficult locations without convenient wall studs, consider this new mount-anywhere system for grab bars that installs easily and supports 300 pounds.
- Options from Home Depot (avoid anything suction-based!)
4. Are there slippery bath mats outside tubs or showers?
- Remove all traditional bath mats or rugs. Those are very dangerous!To soak up water after a shower or bath, try a low-profile, non-slip kitchen mat. There are plenty of options in our article about Safe Bath Mats.
5. Are tubs or shower floors non-slip?
- This non-slip spray treatment is highly rated and works better than stick-on products which will eventually come off.
- Permanent stick-on non-slip strips are better than removable suction mats. After a while, mats get mildew-y and slippery.
Expert Tip: Make sure the tub or shower floor surface is clean and dry before applying anti-slip stuff.
6. Is there an adjustable hand-held shower head?
- These convenient shower heads let your senior have the option to sit safely while showering. They’re also quick and easy to install. Home Depot offers two options: Option 1 and Option 2
7. Is there a shower bench or chair?
8. In the bedroom, can they easily reach items in the closet and drawers?
- Move frequently-worn clothing to places where it’s easiest to access.
- Avoid putting things on high shelves, the closet floor, or in drawers that are hard to open.
Expert Tip: Cleaning out unworn clothes (or putting them in a storage area) helps create more space for easier access.
9. In the kitchen, are often-used items within easy reach?
- Move frequently-used items down from high shelves and up from low shelves. Put them within easy arm’s reach.
Expert Tip:This is a good time to get rid of kitchen clutter!
10. If your older adult can safely use one, is there a safe step stool with a handrail available? Here are two options:
These 10 safety updates are quick and simple. Many don’t even require any tools or installation. Your older adult will probably insist that they can and will take care of these items themselves, but let’s face it, they’ve already had plenty of time and nothing has changed. Even if you have to insist on doing it for them (or do it secretly as a “surprise”), making these fixes is a wise move that can prevent terrible accidents. Even if they won’t admit it, they’ll be relieved to have these chores off their mind.
Next Step >Get even safer with these 13 "one day" home & kitchen fixes By Connie Chow, Contributing Writer and Founder of DailyCaring Image: S & S Legal Group
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