When you consider the place a typical senior calls home, it has not changed a lot since it was full of kids and a much younger family. But what may not have been a fall hazard back in the day might become one as parents age in place. This is a list of just some of the senior care precautions one should take to make home as safe as possible for an older adult whose feet just are not as nimble as they once were.
Throughout the home:
- Remove clutter like stacks of magazines on floors and objects placed on steps (usually placed there as a reminder to take them upstairs).
- Look for and reroute electrical cords. They really are trip wires if they extend into trafficked areas.
- Consider removing scatter rugs. These can pose a trip hazard as well as a slip hazard.
- Replace or remove worn carpeting and be sure that edges are tacked down, especially on stairs.
- Be sure that all areas are well lit, and consider nightlights for halls that may have dark corners.
- Have light switches at both ends of halls or stairways.
- Mount railings in hallways as well as stairs, and consider having them on both sides of these areas for extra support.
In the bath:
- Firmly attach grab bars in showers and around tubs and toilets.
- Have a non-slip surface for the floor of the shower/tub.
- You may find that having a chair permanently in the shower reduces fall risks.
- If sitting down and standing up are challenging, elevate the toilet seat.
- Place night lights that automatically turn on after dark.
In the bedroom:
- Again, remove clutter and reroute electrical cords which may be trip hazards.
- Have a lamp or light switch that is easily within reach without mom or dad getting out of bed.
- Also consider having a flashlight within easy reach on a night stand.
- Store frequently used clothing and other articles within easy reach.
- Remove clutter from the side of the bed.
- Tack down rugs that are at the bed side.
Charlotte Bishop is a Geriatric Care Manager and founder of Creative Case Management, certified professionals who are geriatric advocates, resources, counselors and friends to older adults and their families in metropolitan Chicago. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about What We Do and how we can help you support your loved one.