How to Make your Home Safe for Seniors

September 11, 2015 by

Most Canadian seniors prefer to remain in the comfort of their own home as long as they can, rather than being placed in retirement housing. There is no place like home, and it often seems like there’s no place safer. However, statistics show that most senior injuries occur in the home, usually due to falls.

Home Safe For Seniors

While accidents are sudden and unplanned for, there are a few measures that you can take to considerably reduce the risk of seniors being injured, and ensure that they remain in a safe, healthy, and practical environment.

Ways to Minimize Outdoor Risks

  • Install an outdoor light in all entrances
  • Ensure that the doors to the deck or balcony have a low sill or threshold
  • Ensure your outdoor stairs, decks, and pathways have railings and textured surfaces for good traction
  • Ensure the front steps and walkways around the house are in good condition and free of clutter, leaves, or snow
  • Ensure the house number is noticeable from the street and well lit at night

Inside

  • Install a home monitoring system in Toronto to remain safe from burglars
  • Ensure all rooms and hallways are well lit
  • Ensure all scatter mats and throw rags are secured in place so they don’t slip
  • Remove scatter mats from high traffic areas
  • Remove obstacles from high traffic areas
  • Use a front loading washer and dryer, as they’re easier to use and will minimize risk of injury
  • Keep your first aid kit where it is easily accessible
  • Install a smoke and carbon monoxide detector in every floor
  • Test your home detector every six months (or change batteries)
  • Place the space heater away from flammable materials
  • Keep emergency contacts on the fridge door or other convenient place
  • Invest in a home security option that will instantly connect you with authorities when needed

Stairs

  • Consider painting concrete or wooden steps with a strip of contrasting colour on the edges of each step to avoid missteps
  • Ensure they are in good condition and litter-free
  • Keep them well lit and install switches at the top and bottom
  • Ensure the steps have a non-skid surface
  • Put solid handrails on one or both sides

Kitchen

  • Replace drawer and cupboard knob-style handles with the D-shaped ones, as they require less grip to open
  • Install adjustable shelving that rolls out or swings up and down if the existing cupboards are too high, too low, or too deep

Bedroom

  • Ensure that your bed is at an appropriate height so it is easy to get in and out every day
  • Ensure that you can easily reach your cordless landline phone
  • Have a personal emergency alert system

Bathroom

  • Install non-slip surfaces in the shower or tub
  • Ensure that the mats next to the shower or tub have rubberized backing, or are properly secured to prevent slipping
  • Ensure that the grab rails are secure
  • Install an adjustable shower head and easy-to-use taps (lever or flick mix tap fittings)
  • Install a shower seat – just in case

In the familiarity of your own home, it’s easy to become careless. Be careful and focus on everything you do to avoid any injuries or accidents, and contact our team to ensure you’re protected no matter what!

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