Aging in place, or staying in your own home as you get older, is an increasingly popular option among older adults. However, the success of independent living depends on your ability to remain safe and avoid accidents. To prevent common accidents like falls, enlist the help of family and friends to go through your home with you to identify hazards and make some of these changes.
5 Ways to Make Your Home Safer As You Age
1. Improve Lighting
Dim or dark areas in your home can be dangerous, especially if your eyes aren’t working as well as they once did. Address any areas in your home that aren’t brightly lit. Replace older lightbulbs with brighter LED models, install new lights where necessary, and add motion detectors to automatically activate lights in the bathroom, outdoors, and anywhere else you need light quickly.
2. Make the Bathroom Safer
To help prevent falls or other accidents in the bathroom, install grab bars, a shower chair, or a taller toilet to make it easier to perform basic hygiene tasks. A motion detecting nightlight is a good idea. If possible, consider replacing the standard tub with a walk-in model so you don't need to step over the high edge and risk a fall.
3. Remove Falling Hazards
Falls are one of the leading causes of injury among seniors in independent living situations, so take time to evaluate your home for fall hazards and eliminate them. Create clear paths throughout the home, removing unnecessary clutter or furniture, and remove throw rugs that aren’t secured to the floor with a rubber backing. Secure loose cords to the wall or floors with tape so they don’t present a tripping hazard.
4. Address Fire Hazards
Fire is a significant danger for older adults who may not be able to get out of their home quickly in the event of an emergency. Inspect smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly, and replace the batteries twice a year. Double-check that the cords for all appliances and household items are in good shape, and use surge suppressors to prevent overloading circuits. Avoid using things that increase fire risk, like space heaters and candles; battery-operated candles are a safer option.
5. Make Emergency Numbers Accessible
In a real emergency, you might not remember the specific number you need to call. Create an emergency contact list with the local police, fire, and ambulance numbers, as well as poison control, your doctor, and loved ones who should be alerted. Place this list near every phone so you can dial the appropriate numbers to get help as soon as possible.
Successful independent living means staying safe in your home. If you or a loved one needs assistance managing day-to-day activities, medication, or just needs companionship to improve safety, the compassionate caregivers of Visiting Angels Toms River can help. Located in Toms River, NJ, they provide in-home senior care and respite care. To learn more, visit them online or call (732) 240-1050.