Reduce the Risk of Fall to Make a Home Safe for Seniors
Most homes have some tripping hazards. Stairs, throw rugs, and poorly-lit areas may cause falls. When it comes to stairs and mobility, the best long-term solution is to have a stairlift installed. This will eliminate the risk of falls from climbing or descending the stairs. If a lift isn’t an option, make sure you have secure handrails in place.
Rugs add warmth, color, and aesthetic appeal to your home, but they are not worth the risk of someone tripping and being injured. Remove them and install carpeting or cork flooring to reduce the chance of slips and falls.
Another way to help prevent falls is to make sure all areas of the home are properly lit. As we grow older, our eyesight may worsen. A burned-out light bulb in the bathroom or a poorly illuminated hallway can be dangerous for elderly family members. Keep light bulbs on hand and replace them as needed. Install night lights in areas where more light is needed after dark, like hallways, bathrooms, and the kitchen.
Pay special attention to the bathroom when you’re making your home safer for seniors. Many accidents take place here, largely because of hot water and slippery surfaces.
Handrails and grab bars help to prevent falls. Another option is to install a walk-in bathtub or a bathing chair to make cleaning easier and safer for elderly family members. To prevent burns from hot water, make sure your water heater’s thermostat is set at 120 degrees or lower.
Make Your Kitchen Safe for Seniors
The kitchen presents a number of hazards, but one of the most common for the elderly is a fall or injury when trying to reach objects on high shelves. Store objects that are frequently used in a lower cabinet. To make the kitchen more functional for aging family members, keep food, pots and pans, and cooking ingredients in easy-to-access areas.
Seniors tend to be more vulnerable to scammers and burglars. With that in mind, it’s a great idea to install a security system in the home. Modern systems allow for remote viewing from a smartphone, so an older person can check on the property via their mobile device without getting up.
Install a peephole in the front door so anyone in the home can see visitors before opening the door. Keep all emergency phone numbers easily accessible. Post a note listing these numbers in bold print on the wall or table beside the phone. Make sure your elderly family member has access to a smartphone and knows how to use it.
Five Stars Home Inspection provides inspection services in the Greater Boston area. If you’re buying or selling a home, contact us to schedule an appointment.