Last week, we suggested some ways to make your home a safe place for infants and young children, but it’s also important to consider ways in which your home may or may not be safe for the elderly as well. Here are a few tips on how to make sure your home is a safe environment for older family members.

Home Safety for Elderly Residents

  • Keep household items on easily accessible lower shelves.

  • Consider purchasing a shower chair or bath bench to prevent falling in the bathroom. It’s also a good idea to place nonslip mats near the toilet, near the sink, and both inside and next to the bathtub.

  • accessible bathtub and shower

    Install a rail or bar in the shower that can be gripped for support.

  • Make sure your stair rails are sturdy and in good order, and add rails to any stairs that do not have them.

  • In addition to regular light switches, think about installing remote switches, such as those that can be activated by clapping.

  • Tack or tape down all area rugs, and repair any loose carpeting. If you have hardwood floors, consider covering them with carpet—it’s less slippery and softer to land on than hardwood.

  • labeled medicine

    Keep hallways, stairwells, and outside areas such as porches and walkways well lit. Use nightlights at night.

  • Make sure that all medicines are clearly labeled.

  • Keep clutter out of hallways and other foot traffic areas, and arrange furniture to make movement as easy as possible.

  • If necessary, install an entry ramp to make access easier for wheelchair users.

For a few ways to update your home that will help keep your whole family safe at any age, check back later this week for part 4 of this blog series.

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