As we get older, some changes have to be made to our homes, for example, to ensure ease of access to upstairs but there are many other smaller steps too that can be taken to ensure that everyone in the home stays safe and helps to prevent falls and accidents. Now that it is the new year, it may be a good time to do a check over your home and ensure it is safe for everyone, young and old. Many of these will also help older people to remain living independently and happily in their own home for longer.
Alterations for Safer Living
- Grab bars by the toilet and bath are a good idea especially as standing up after a warm bath can make a person light headed. Walk in showers or baths are much easier than stepping over the side of a bath.
- Ensure there are light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs. Recessed lighting in the stairs or plug in night lights along the hall will prevent having to switch on main lights but yet provide enough light to see by.
- Install sensor lights outside the front and back doors as there’s nothing as irritating as trying to fit a key in the lock when it is dark. The sensor lights will improve the security of your home too.
- Doorknobs can be slippery and difficult for young and old hands to open. Changing doorknobs to door levers make them easier to open. The same goes for taps – lever type dual taps in kitchen and bathroom sinks are easier to turn on and off.
- Loose rugs can be a hazard so either ensure they are well fixed or eliminate.The same goes for any loose electrical wires or small pieces of furniture such as stools or low coffee tables.
- Put non slip mats in the bathroom and in front of the sink and hob in the kitchen in case there’s a water spillage that isn’t noticed and could make tiles very slippery.
- Ensure there are smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in the home, a fire blanket and a small dry chemical fire extinguisher on each floor.
- When cooking, ensure that the saucepan handles are turned towards the back of the stove in case someone accidently knocks against it. Don’t leave food cooking on the hob unattended or set a timer for when it should be almost done.
- Having portable phones available in a couple of different locations in the home is a good idea or many elderly people now wear a wristband alarm in case they fall and cannot move.
- Top loading washing machines and dryers can be easier for older people than the low front loading ones – anything that helps to prevent having to reach low or towards the floor can be a sensible move.
Have you made any alterations to your home that we haven’t mentioned here? Do let us know if you can think of any that we have omitted too.