As we age and our needs and physical abilities change, there are obstacles within our homes that should be updated to help prevent injuries or accidents. Here are a few tips to help accommodate your changing needs and make you feel safe and comfortable in your home.
Keep a clear walking path
Make sure all hallways, stairs and walking paths are well-lit and clear of obstacles and hazards. If you have scatter or floor rugs, make sure they are kept in-place with carpet tape. Remove any excess furniture that may pose a trip-hazard and allow space between furniture for walking aids or wheelchairs, if necessary. By keeping your primary walkways clear, you are limiting your risk of falls and injuries.
Avoid bathroom hazards
Because bathroom floors are often slick and may be exposed to moisture, there are extra precautions you should talk to protect yourself. Installing grab bars in the shower and near the toilet is a simple way to make getting around easier, while non-slip mats in your bathtub or shower can help to prevent slipping. If you have any concerns about your stability in the shower, or have difficulty returning to your feet from the toilet, explore your options! There are special shower seats and benches, as well as raised toilet seats that can help you remain safe and comfortable.
Keep necessities within reach
Table lamps can help you navigate at night, while battery-powered touch lamps or flash lights are great to have handy in-case of a power outage. Keeping any walking aids nearby will also help you move around your home more freely, limiting your exposure to potential hazards, while safely storing medical supplies and medication in a location that is easy for you to access could save you valuable time and stress in case of an emergency.
Always be prepared
You can further avoid household accidents and injuries by being prepared. Keep a list of emergency contact numbers on your fridge or another central location in your home. These numbers can include family members or friends, as well as medical professionals and caretakers. Always have your cellphone charged and on you – if you’re not tech savvy, have someone help you add important numbers to your favorites or speed dial for quick and easy access. If you are concerned about falling or needing assistance, invest in an emergency alert watch, remote, or necklace. These systems allow you to contact emergency services with just the push of a button
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Whether you need help moving furniture, developing an emergency plan, or are interested in more permanent safety-related changes to your home – including modifications to your current residence or moving to a home that may better fit your needs – don’t be afraid to reach out with any questions or to ask for help!