Studies show that more and more elderly people are living alone. Yet with this comes a massive spike in injuries caused by spills in the shower or other types of falls and a higher mortality rate. While improvements in technology, like smartphone life alert and other monitoring systems, has made it more and more safe for the elderly to live at home without assistance, it is crucial that their home is fully prepped before they move in. This means eliminating all of the obstacles that might cause them to get hurt in the first place. Here are 5 ways to age-proof your home.
Do a thorough safety inspection on house
Make sure there are no major wrinkles or tears in the carpets that could cause them to take a spill. Lower the temperature on the water heater so that they don’t burn themselves. Make sure that emergency phone numbers are written all over the house or where the number can be easily accessed. Moreover, make sure that there is a phone in every room of the house with big, easy to read numbers so that they can call someone in case of an emergency, but make sure that the cord doesn’t become a tripping hazard.
Kitchen safety tips
Print easy to read kitchen safety guides and post them all around the kitchen. Make sure that they don’t wear lose fitting clothes around the stove when they are cooking. You might also want to get some type of electric stove so you don’t have to worry about a gas leak that could cause an inhalation death or an explosion. You might also want to make sure that the stove has an automatic cut-off system if something is on the stove for too long, in order to reduce the risk of fire.
Bedroom safety tips
So it is important that the bedroom is age-proof too. For instance, make sure that there are places to sit so that they person doesn’t injure themselves when changing. You might also want to install a custom thermostat in the bedroom so that they don’t have to go all the way down stairs to change it. Out of all the handyman projects, this is probably the easiest and won’t be that invasive, construction wise.
Hallway for wheelchairs
There should be enough room so that the wheelchair can make a complete turnaround. It might also be wise to install levers or buttons to open doors so that the elderly person doesn’t need to turn heavy knobs. You don’t want them to get locked in or out of a room.
Bathroom safety tips
You should make sure that the electrical current in the outlets is grounded to prevent electrical shock, that there are bars or handles in the shower and that there is a non-slip mat in the tub. Bathroom slips and falls are the most common in the elderly, so you want the bathroom to be the most prepared. It might even be wise to keep a phone in the bathroom, just in case.