Tips for Aging Safely in the Home
October 24, 2016
Many seniors in Florida prefer to age gracefully in their own homes. It’s certainly their right, and for many, staying in their homes is more comfortable than living in a facility. In fact, only 3.5 percent of all senior citizens aged 65 and older live in a facility. The rest live in their own homes or with family.
As a home health agency in Naples, we work with countless families each day who want their loved ones to stay in the home and enjoy their golden years in comfort. Because of the experience we’ve amassed over the years, we know what all a family has to consider when choosing this option.
One thing that many families overlook is safety. For a senior, a home can be a dangerous place if precautions aren’t taken. If a family is prudent and careful, though, living at home can be a wonderful and comfortable experience. It’s all about staying safe.
Here are a few tips for keeping a loved one safe in their home.
Fall-Proof the Home
Each year, seniors have about 2.3 million accidents in their homes. The leading cause of these accidents are slip-and-falls. Falling is a very real concern, but it doesn’t have to be an inevitability. There are things you can do to reduce the chance of a fall, including:
- Understanding how your medications impact your chances of falling
- Installing handrails as needed throughout the home to aid in balance
- Removing rugs or anything on the floor that can shift or slip
- Reducing tripping hazards by taping down or removing cords
- Ensuring all lights have been replaced and that there’s plenty of light for each room
- Doing light exercise to keep in shape and fit enough to avoid weakness that leads to many falls
You can’t ever completely eliminate the chance of falling – at home or anywhere else – but you can reduce it considerably. Let your home health agency walk you through the changes you can make to an environment to make it less prone to falls.
Preventing Injury in the Bathroom
Do you know what one of the most dangerous room in the home is to a senior? That’d be the bathroom. Wet surfaces can conspire to create a dangerous environment. Every year, countless seniors hurt themselves by slipping on wet tile, falling in the shower, tripping or slipping while stepping in and out of the tub, falling victim to loose towel racks, and even falling due to condensation on walls and doors are all possibilities that can be avoided.
You should make sure non-slip surfaces are installed anywhere where water may be a hazard. This means in the tub, right outside the tub, and in front of the sink, at a minimum. Make sure all fixtures are firmly secured. Also, ensure that there is plenty of lighting in the bathroom. The more, the better. And, install some system by which a senior in trouble can quickly call for help, like an alert button within easy reach of the tub or shower.
Turn to your home health agency in Naples to learn more about how you can make any home safe for a senior looking to age gracefully in the privacy and comfort of their own property.