Household Safety In Old Age

Recent studies and research developments are indicating that aging adults are addressing household safety inadequately and infrequently. The harsh reality of getting older is that inhibitive physical changes occur naturally. However, a third of adults over 65 in the United States suffer from a fall, 70% of which occur at home. This makes certain measures necessary if common declines in physical ability increase the risk for dangerous household incidents. Household safety starts at an individual level, for people are the only ones who can make a house safer for themselves.

Bathroom Safety

The risk of slips and falls is increased by wet tiles or bath and shower floors. Everyone should enter and exit a tub or shower with careful and deliberate movements, even though the transitions are commonplace and routine. For elderly people, one misplaced step can cause some significant damage. Grab-bars can be installed to minimize dependence on bathrooms’ commonly unstable surfaces.

Cluttered Space and Stairwell Safety

There are a number of ways to increase household safety around hazardous areas like stairwells and walking spaces:

  • Upgrade lighting around the house and especially near stairwells. This will allow for greater visibility, as a poorer view of an area can cause you to stumble or misjudge distances.
  • Remove throw rugs and other unnecessary tapestry on the floor. At the very least, secure area rugs so they do not slip or fold off the floor. Carpets should not have any tears or holes that could someone to trip.
  • Apply non-slip tape to wooden stairs and check handrails to make sure they are sturdy. In general, a house is safer the more support it offers throughout.
  • Keep pathways clear by securing electrical cords against the wall and leaving tables away from high traffic areas. It is too easy to bump into something. Keep items from accumulating in spaces where you walk most frequently.
  • Install light switches closer to room entrances for the easiest access. You should not have to walk across a room in the dark to turn on the light.

Bedroom Safety

There are a few things you can keep on hand or arrange in your bedroom to make for a safer environment:

  • Have a flashlight close to your bed in case the power goes out or you get up in the middle of the night. A nightlight is useful if you usually get in and out of bed during the night.
  • Make a bedside lamp easily reachable from your bed. You should not have to reach off the bed to turn on a light.
  • Keep a telephone close, where it is easily reached in case of any emergency.
  • Closets should not have clothes on the floor or in hard-to-reach places. For example, consider installing adjustable shelves or mobile storage devices for your daily essentials. Bright closet lights can help, as well.
  • Avoid accumulating clutter in the bedroom, keeping the floor clear to avoid the unnecessary risk of tripping or stumbling around things.

Safety Alternatives

Assisted living facilities can be just as comfortable as your home. Creating a safe household environment can be tedious and overwhelming. Surely, care facilities provide perhaps the safest possible living spaces for aging adults. Centers are aware of all the risks and take every precaution to prevent falls and injuries common to living alone in old age.