If you or one of your family members is a senior living independently, safety is a primary concern. While it may be too soon to consider moving to a senior assisted living facility, it’s important for seniors to take extra precautions for their health and safety. The first step is a safety assessment of the home, and here are some areas to consider as you make improvements.
General mobility. Take a fresh look at the ease of movement around the home to be sure it is safe and convenient for senior living. Begin with the doorways. Are there steep or high stairways that may be a challenge? Are there railings installed? Are walkways covered with non-slip mats and free of cracks that could cause a fall? Is there a convenient place to sit to put on or take off shoes and a place to set down grocery bags? Next, move into the living areas. Is it crowded with obstructions or is it easy to move around freely? Ensure that all chairs are sturdy and easy to maneuver in and consider adding a tall stool in the kitchen so seniors can prepare meals while sitting down. Remove or repair any potential hazards inside and out.
Lighting. Well-lit living spaces are essential for senior safety, especially for those who have vision difficulties. Inspect lighting throughout the home, especially around places stairways and other potential hazards to be sure they are bright and well-lit with easy access to light switches.
Bathroom safety. Wet surfaces are a hazard, and so many unnecessary falls happen in the bathroom on wet floors. Seniors should have grab bars installed both in showers/tubs and next to toilets. Add waterproof nonslip mats throughout the bathrooms. If mobility is an issue, consider hiring a professional to install walk-in tubs, which let seniors step into the shower or bath without stepping over a conventional tub side. In some cases, insurance can help pay for some of these important safety features, so check with your insurance company first.
Lifestyle. Some small lifestyle changes can help make seniors stay safe. Exercise is one of the most important because it helps strengthen muscles, improve balance, and increase bone density to both prevent falls and lower their impact. Some good exercise options for seniors include walking, tai-chi, yoga, and weight training. A healthy diet also contributes to safety by helping seniors maintain a healthy weight and helping to counter the effects of illnesses that can lead to cognitive decline.
Communication. The ability to make a call in an emergency can be a lifesaver, so equipping your home (or the home of your loved one) to make this accessible is a crucial step in home safety for seniors. Most seniors are used to landlines, but a fall might happen where they just can’t reach one. That’s why it’s important to provide a cell phone and be sure the senior knows how to use it and how important it is always to carry it with them. Alternately, use call-assist wearable technology that allows seniors to call for help with the touch of a button.
Safety in the home is a top priority for seniors to ensure that they can live productive, independent lives, and a home safety assessment is a crucial step to ensure safety. As your needs or those of your loved one grow, it may be time to consider transitioning to senior assisted living. When it’s time to make the move, contact us at Ashbridge Manor Senior Living. Our dedicated senior living professionals make the transition easy, and our staff and facilities emphasize wellness, fun daily activities, and a welcoming sense of community. Find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information.