After retirement, many homeowners prefer staying in their own homes as they age. To avoid accidents and injuries, families can take steps to boost safety for seniors in the home. Here are a few tips to make living spaces safer for elderly family members.
Simple safety measures can prevent poisoning in households with senior citizens. One of the most common poisoning agents in homes is carbon monoxide (CO). Gas-powered appliances can emit carbon monoxide. This gas is odorless and colorless, so it’s challenging to know you’re exposed to it. Install carbon monoxide detectors in the house. These devices are designed to alert occupants to an accumulation of CO gas.
Another source of poisoning in homes with older family members is medication. Mixing up medication or poor labeling of drug containers can lead to health concerns. Keep drugs in their original containers and put large-print labels on the bottles to avoid such accidents. Encourage elderly relatives to take medications in a well-lit room. This will help them read the labels on the containers more easily.
Preventing Falls to Boost Safety for Seniors in the Home
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies falls as a significant health hazard for seniors. Many elderly people enjoy spending time with pets. However, a cat or dog underfoot is a tripping hazard. If there are animals in the home, make a space to keep pets out of the way while your family member is preparing food or handling chores.
Flooring is another concern when making a home safe for seniors. Tile flooring is slippery. Throw rugs are also hazardous for those using walkers because the walker could get stuck on the edge of the rug and cause a fall. Don’t run appliance cords across floors or walkways. Make sure there is adequate lighting in hallways and on staircases. Night lights are beneficial after dark to illuminate the way to the bathroom and kitchen.
Boost Safety for Seniors with Technology in the Home
Investing in technology boosts safety for seniors. Motion-detecting lights power on at any sign of movement. These can be installed in the yard to light the way into the home. Smart bulbs are modern light bulbs that can be controlled with a phone app. These bulbs are programmable, and you or your family member can set times to turn lights in the home on and off automatically.
Medical alert devices are another easy way to keep older family members safe. Wearable devices have easy-access buttons that the elderly can press if they need assistance. These devices are connected to cellular service to provide an immediate response to distress calls.
Elderly relatives should have access to a cell phone. Choose a phone that has built-in GPS tracking and can access emergency networks.
Use smart home devices for setting medication reminders and enabling the elderly to make distress calls, using only their voice. Alexa and Google Home devices help provide information and call for help in an emergency.
If you live with senior citizens, make sure the environment is safe whether you are present or away. Minor safety oversights can lead to fatal accidents or injuries. Talk to your elderly family member’s health care practitioner for suggestions to make the home safer.