Home Safety for the Elderly
Needs Your Attention

Home safety for the elderly is crucial and needs to be addressed with care. Most accidents happen in the home, and as we get older we become more vulnerable to these accidents.  Elderly safety is a matter of realizing the unique concerns and abilities of the elderly population and adjusting the home setting to minimize the risk of something bad happening.

According to the center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2 million people ages 65 or older are treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries.   Twenty to thirty percent of the falls result in moderate to severe injuries such as lacerations, hip fractures, and head traumas.   Falls are listed as the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries.

The concerns may begin with trips, slips, and falls but do not stop there.  Safety is often a result of preparation.

How to Improve Home Safety for the Elderly

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Mobility Safety

You want to be sure your living space is not cluttered and walking areas are even, carpet is secured tightly on the floor, avoid lose rugs as they can cause slips and falls.

If you use a wheelchair, scooter or walking aid, consider using threshold ramps for door thresholds for a smooth transition where ground levels may not be consistent.  This is often the case with entry ways to the home, sliding doors, garage and other areas.

Install rails near steps even if it is just a couple of steps and be sure all areas have adequate lighting.

Wear fitting shoes inside the house, avoid slippers as they can cause slips (as the name indicates)

If you have trouble with balance install support bars strategically around the home to facilitate moving around safely.  Consider using stand up aids to help you maintain your balance as you stand.  Consider using a walking aid in the house.

If you use mobility equipment such as scooter, wheelchair or other, have it checked regularly to make sure it is in proper working order.  Consider adding this device to your wheelchair if it does not have that feature.

Consider using a reacher device so you can reach for items with minimum effort.

Are You Prepared for Emergencies?

You never know when you might have an accident. You could fall or have a medical emergency. It may be difficult or impossible to get to a phone to call for help, so what do you do?  This is where emergency devices come in.

There are many different types of devices.  Emergency pendant phones are very popular and simple to use. The pendant can be worn as a necklace or bracelets so that you have the ability to call for help at all times. You will need to determine which device will work best for you.

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How to Make The Bathroom Safer for Seniors

  • Install Grab bars in your shower and or tub area
  • Install an elevated toilet seat to make toileting easier 

  • Use a support bar/rail around the toilet area, some of the raised toilet seats have support rails
  • Place a strong plastic seat in the tub or shower to bathe while sitting down
  • Use a hand-held shower head to facilitate bathing while you remain seated
  • Place a Non-slip mat in the shower and or tub area

  • Non skid flooring in the bathroom

Home safety for the elderly is essential as more seniors seek to maintain their independence at home.  A home can be a safer environment by making a few adjustments. 

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Related Link:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Falls Among Older Adults: An Overview

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