Ways to Make Your Home Safe for Elders
There are some practical ways to keep yourself independent, and make your home your haven.
First, you need to take a look around your home and make sure that your residence is not holding you back. For instance, did you know that more than 60% of all slips and falls happen within the home? To really keep yourself independent, look around the house and see what you can do to prevent those slips and falls.
Clean it Up
Look around your home and remove any unnecessary clutter. This includes any rugs or mats that might cause you to trip or fall. If the rug does not lie flat, either get rid of it, or purchase 'no slip rug grippers' to secure your rug or mat.
If you see extension cords that are in the way, and could become a hazard, find a way to secure them or simply get rid of them.
Look for any areas that regularly get wet; perhaps an area that takes on water when it rains, or the area around your shower or bath when you bathe. Add non-slip mats so that you don't slip when the water hits these areas.
Consider adding grab rails around the house for added safety. Purchase reaching aids to help you reach items on high shelves, so you do not have to climb on stools or stepladders; or simply store your items well within your reach so you do not have to use an aid.
Outside the home you will want to pay special care to any steps that you may have to your front or back door. Consider adding a ramp. Mark the edges of your steps or path with bright strips (ones that are reflective so that they show up at night, too), so that you will be sure not to trip.
Make sure to keep your path or sidewalk clean of debris. Hiring a weekly cleaning crew or asking the local council for assistance might be advisable here.
Check Your Eyesight
Finally, it is always advisable to have an annual eye exam. Our eyes can change often, and having the right prescription can definitely help us keep our balance.