With more than 10,000 people reaching 65, the age of retirement, in the U.S. every single day, there’s a good chance you have a senior citizen in your life. Whether it’s a parent, a grandparent, an in-law, or even a neighbor, you may find yourself needing to help make a home senior-friendly. Senior citizens often have a higher risk of falling or getting hurt, even in their own home. So if you’re looking for a few simple ways to make a house safer and more comfortable for a senior in your life, keep reading.
Lower the Risk of Slipping in the Bathroom
The bathroom is one room in the house with an extremely high risk of injury. This is because many slip and fall accidents can happen around the shower or bath. With that in mind, it’s important to add the proper slip-prevention materials. In the bath or shower, you should add non-slip mats or strips so it’s less likely someone will fall in the shower. You should also make sure the bathmat or rug outside of the shower is secure with non-slip tape or other materials. And to further help elderly folk navigate the bathroom, consider adding grab bars in the tub and next to the toilet — these can be beneficial in preventing falls as well. And to make the bathroom more comfortable overall, consider adding a bench in the shower so they can shower comfortably and reduce the risk of falling. Starting in the bathroom is always a good idea because there is so much that can be done to prevent injuries.
Add More Light Throughout the Home
As we get older, our hearing and vision get worse. In fact, it’s estimated that one out four people age 65 and above struggle with disabling hearing loss. Diminishing vision is why many elderly people can struggle to see in poorly lit areas. So it’s important to ensure their home is as well lit as possible. You should start by replacing any dim or dull bulbs — upgrading to LEDs can make rooms brighter and help reduce energy usage. You should be particularly mindful of lighting in areas like hallways and stairways. This is especially true seeing as how one in three senior citizens suffer a serious fall on stairs every year. If there are not enough lights, consider adding additional lamps and fixtures in darker areas. And don’t forget about the outside lighting. It may be beneficial to add motion sensor lights by doors and on paths so they don’t have to remember to turn them on and off. Having proper lighting around the house can help elderly adults find their way more easily.
Consider Moving Furniture Around
As you make your way around the house, you should ensure there is a clear path to walk through every room. You want to minimize the risk of senior citizens running into or tripping over anything in their home, especially furniture. So take a look at the furniture in the house and consider moving whatever you can out of the center of the room towards the walls. And if there is extra furniture in the house that doesn’t get used, you may want to get rid of it altogether. Another important piece of furniture you need to consider is any rugs in the house. Rugs present huge risk of tripping, even for someone who isn’t elderly. If there are rugs in the house that don’t really need to be there, consider getting rid of them. Any rugs that have to stay in the house should be secure and have non-slip features on the bottom of them.
Whether they’re looking to move and join the 21.31 million people who live in Florida or they’re staying in their current home, it’s important senior citizens have a safe home to live in. So keep these tips in mind to help the senior citizen in your life have a safe and comfortable home.