Prevent falls with simple home modifications
Did you know that many useful safety updates take less than one day to complete? These quick fixes can prevent falls and other injuries. Avoiding these accidents helps seniors live longer and more independently.
Quick fixes in just one day!
Our list of 13 quick-fix tasks could be done in one day. We’ve included useful tips, product suggestions, and how-to’s. But you could also focus on the list items that are the biggest threats to your older adult’s safety and independence. If possible, assign some tasks to members of your family or caregiving team – together you’ll get more done, more quickly.
Your senior may insist that they will take care of these things themselves, but don’t be fooled! If they haven’t fixed them already, they probably never will. Besides, once all the fixes are done, they’ll secretly be relieved to have a safer house.
It’s worth the effort
Spending a little time and money on simple home improvements is far easier and cheaper than finding and paying for assisted living or full-time care.
13 safety solutions for house and kitchen
|Safety Problem||Safe Solutions|
|1||Is the house address clearly visible from the street?||Install large house numbers in metal or stickers so they can be seen from the street. Here’s an example of house number stickers.
Spray paint large house numbers on the street curb in 15 minutes, like this.
|2||Are emergency contact numbers posted by all telephones and on the refrigerator?||Post a list of important contact numbers in handy locations. Make sure they’re clear and easy-to-read.
|3||Are all rugs and doormats skid-proof and well secured?||Rugs and doormats are a tripping hazard. Besides, seniors can trip on something that’s just 1/8 inch thick!
Non-slip backs don’t always prevent the corners from flipping up. If your older adult is starting to shuffle their feet, consider removing all rugs.
|4||Are all electric cords secure and away from walking areas?||Move any cords that are in areas used for walking.|
|5||Are all hallways, doorways, stairways, and landings clear of obstructions?||Remove clutter or decorations from these areas to reduce the chances of tripping, stumbling, or falling.|
|6||Is the water heater set at a temperature that won’t scald?||Lower the water heater temperature.
Do this by turning the temperature setting dial down on the water heater itself
|7||Are smoke detectors installed in every room? Are there any carbon monoxide detectors?||These are easily installed with a screwdriver. Get installation & safe placement tips here.
Here are 3 suggestions from Home Depot:
Expert Tip 1: Get a smoke detector with 10-year battery life for less trouble with beeping and replacement.
Expert Tip 2: Arrange for a friend or neighbor to help out, night or day, in case the smoke detector has a false alarm. Properly mounted alarms are too high for seniors to safely reset.
|8||Are working flashlights readily accessible?||Buy strong, lightweight, easy-to-operate flashlights and place them in easy-access locations in frequently used rooms.
Here are 2 suggestions from Home Depot:
|9||Is a first-aid kit easily accessible?||Put band-aids, antibacterial cream, and other basic first-aid items in a convenient location.|
|10||In the kitchen, are often-used items within easy reach?||Move all necessary items lower or higher to prevent the need for step stools or bending over too far.
Expert Tip: This is also a great chance to get rid of clutter!
|11||In the kitchen, is there a safe step stool with a handrail?(This assumes your older adult can still safely use it.)||Here are 2 options from Home Depot:|
|12||Are jars and canned foods easy to open?||This is a great all-in-one small appliance that opens jars and cans with the touch of a button.|
|13||Does the microwave work properly?||If not, buy a new counter-top microwave. Here’s an inexpensive option from Home Depot.|
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: Right at Home