We all enjoy young age, and we rarely need any protection when we are at the prime of our life. However, as we gradually step into a whole new chapter of our lives, the senior-most chapter, we need protection and a safe environment. Age makes us wiser, but also vulnerable to a lot of health hazards.
As we get older with time, it can become challenging and even hazardous to deal with the daily things that once were performed without any consideration. The likelihood of falling or having a fall rises with health issues related to age and overall decline. When agility decreases, threats continue to increase in the home environment, and preventative measures become necessary and of utmost importance.
If you are wondering what you can do to make the house a safer place for your older members, we have some tips for you. Several home upgrades and senior care services are available and can be budgeted and installed by your local General Contractor, and to get get a preliminary idea on pricing, there are estimating companies that can help you calculate costs. Varying from in-home care, asking for help from friends, relatives or neighbors, or senior proofing the home for your loved ones, there is a lot of options for anyone to make a home better for our precious elderly.
Let’s take a look at some of them.
Install Stair Railings
If there is anything that comes to mind when thinking of senior proofing the house, it is installing stair railings for smooth movement from one floor to the other. Stairs can become harder to climb as one grows old. One wrong step and you fall down an entire flight of stairs. This can often lead to life-threatening consequences.
By installing stair railings, you will take the challenging climbing part out of the equation and make the stairs safer for all seniors. Moreover, it would also be easier for them to climb the stairs than before.
Apart from installing stair railings, there are some other steps that you can take to make the stairs safer for everyone in the house, including the senior members. Make sure that the stairs are well-lit at all times. Use fluorescent lights to illuminate the way. Moreover, make sure the stairs are non-slippery and use carpet material that increases friction and decreases the chances of falling.
Use Grab Bars in Bathroom and Shower
This may not be just for the senior members of your household. Showers and bathrooms are almost always wet and can quickly become a hub for slippery mishaps. You can still use sticky flooring options to increase friction and decrease the risk of slipperiness.
However, make sure that there are easy-to-use and easy to reach grab bars for seniors in the bathroom. These offer extra support and firm holding space for the seniors as they use the facilities. If you want to senior proof your house, make sure to install grab bars in the shower and beside the toilet.
Update and refresh the bathroom for greater senior-friendliness. Install non-slip shower pads, as uneven surfaces cause many in-home injuries in the tub. To provide extra stability and improve protection, install protective grab bars next to the toilet and shower. Make sure there’s a non-slip bathmat beside the bath or shower as well as in the bathroom to reduce the risk of slipping.
Install Carpet and Remove Rugs
Falls are the biggest cause of seniors’ injuries. One of the most important things to do is to make the home fall-proof, to reduce the risk of falling, slipping, and to promote home protection for seniors.
The first thing that you should do is remove the fancy throw rugs. These rugs may offer visual beauty and be decorative, but they often lack a rubberized backing to better grip the floor. Instead of dealing with this, make use of carpets. They are not only elegant in design, but they also offer a heightened state of friction, which reduces the risk of falling.
Install Electric Lift
If you live in a big, multi-storied house, congratulations! However, big houses also require more senior proofing. If your house has multiple floors and levels, you need to install an electric lift to make it easier for everyone, including the senior members, to access the other floors.
This way, they won’t even have to use the stair railings to make it to another floor. They can simply hop onto the safe electric lift and move around the house without worrying about falling or any other unfortunate accident to happen. This one is a bit more sophisticated than the rest of the options on this list, so it’s recommended you consider utilizing construction estimating consultants to give you an accurate price for the entire project. These projects will require additional work including reinforcing your existing railing and walls to install a lift. A lift company will only be able to budget for their portion.
Install Motion Detection Lighting
Sometimes, it is hard for even the young people and adults to look for light switches in pitch-black darkness. Senior members have an even harder time finding the switch, and they can trip, fall down or seriously injure themselves looking for the switch in the darkness.
Installing motion detection lighting inside your house will eliminate the need for light switches. It would automatically turn on the lights, and the senior members will never have to look for those switches. Apart from senior proofing your house, these motion detection lighting systems will also make your house eco-friendly and save hundreds of dollars in utility bills.
Adjust Water Heater 110 degrees or less
How many times have we burnt our hands adjusting the water temperature in sinks or showers? Well, maybe it’s not the end of the world, but it does hurt enough to cause some stinging for a bit of time. This can be especially harmful for senior citizens, and now imagine senior members in your house dealing with boiling water and the complicated controls to adjust the temperature of their water.
It makes sense to automatically adjust the water heater to something less hot, more suitable, and lukewarm so that everyone in the house can use it without any hassle. Turn the water heater down to 110, and senior proof the water system for elders.
Install a Wi-Fi Interior Camera
Installing a Wi-Fi interior camera will give you a chance to continually monitor and aid to the senior members of your household. These cameras can be motion-controlled and can be activated only when there is motion. You can monitor their movements around the house, take notes, and offer better ways to senior proof the house while keeping them safe.
Upgrade Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors are the first line of defense against any major outburst of fire in your house. It makes sense to keep the batteries charges and smoke detectors in sync with modern practices. Upgrade your smoke detectors so that you can always be ready in case of any unforeseen circumstances. It is better to have upgraded smoke detectors than to fight against the fire to save your senior loved ones.
Use a Raised Toilet Seat
While you can easily use the bathroom facilities, senior members have a hard time sitting down and using the toilet like the rest of us. Using a raised toilet seat with grab bars beside it will allow them to have a better and firmer mode of support as they use the restroom. This will reduce the risk of falling off and will make the bathroom a safer place for them.
What Do We Have to Say?
Your senior members and loved one may not like the idea that you are trying to senior proof their home, so you will have to be careful and considerate with your thoughts and enhancements.
Spend time uncovering dreams with your loved one as they mature and partner up with them to eventually make it a reality. By senior proofing the home, you will be able to not only ensure a safe environment for your loved ones but also offer a healthier lifestyle in their senior chapter. Preventative measures are always better than the cure.