Home safety for the elderly goes beyond home security systems. You must make sure that the elderly living on their own cannot harm themselves in any way by accidental slips or falls. You also need to know that if they have an accident or something should happen to them that help can be on the way immediately.
There are several ways that you can help prevent injury in the home of an elderly individual. There are also measures you can take in order to make sure that help arrives promptly when needed. Here are some of the best tips for home safety for the elderly.
Home and Personal Security
The elderly should have a home safety alarm system that will keep them protected from burglary or fire. This system can be either battery operated or hard wired into the home’s electrical system. The system should be monitored twenty four hours per day seven days per week, including holidays, by a reputable security company that can send help on the way immediately in case of emergency.
This should be backed up by personal security alarm systems. There are many such systems available on the market today, and some of them may even be available with the same security company you use for the home. This personal security device is worn at all times by the elderly individual. When an accident or medical emergency comes about, all that they need to do is press a button and help will be on the way. This is especially helpful in cases where the individual cannot move to make it to a phone, or if they are having a stroke and cannot speak.
The best home safety for the elderly is to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. This means making sure that slips and falls cannot occur during the normal routine of life. There are several things you can do to help in this.
- Place slip proof rugs on tile floors in the kitchen and bathroom, as well as in the floor of the tub or shower. The rugs should cover the entire area of the floor where it is likely that they will be walking frequently. It can also help to provide them with slip resistant foot wear for use inside and outside the home.
- Place grab bars throughout the home for use in stability and to help them get up when necessary. These grab bars should be placed around toilets in the home, in and around bath tubs and showers, as well as in bedrooms where they change clothing. You may even want to put grab bars in the kitchen or living room if stability is an issue.
- Keep beds and furniture, as well as toilets, at a height where they can sit down without stooping or lifting up. They should be able to simply sit and stand with little difficulty, and with no more bending of the knees than necessary.
- Keep cabinets at a height where no ladder is necessary to reach items that are needed on a daily basis. If possible, higher cabinets should be left completely empty so that there is no temptation to grab a chair and try to reach up. This is the cause of most falls.
- Make sure bathrooms are handicap and elderly accessible. This means that everything should be within easy reach. You should make sure that the sink is at upper waist level, rather than lower like most vanities tend to be. You should also install a shower seat in the shower or allow for a portable shower seat for the tub so that they can easily bathe without worry about them slipping and falling.