5 Easy Tips to Make your Home Safe for an Elder Love-One

by MichelleR on May 8, 2012

5 Easy Tips to Make your Home Safe for an Elder Love-One:

As we start to get older, jars become harder to open and the fear of slipping in the tub becomes greater. So how can we make our homes safer for us and our loved ones? By making a few stops at the local Hardware store and Bed, Bath & Beyond, you can easily make your home safer for all.

  1.       Walk through your house. Check for boxes or loose papers in the hallways and rooms, which could be blocking a pathway. Check for wires that are out in the open. If you can trip over it in daylight, you certainly can trip over it in the middle of the night.

2.       Start in the Bathroom.

  •          Bathtub. Slipping in the bathtub is my biggest fear, so I have fun little foot grab stickers in my tub, which can be found at Bed, Bath & Beyond. You will also need to have easy-to-install grab-bars for the tub, which can be found at Home Depot. Shower chairs are great for daily cleaning; they are easy to move stools which make bathing safe.

  •         Check the bath-mat. It is always recommended, to get rid of your mats. Bed, Bath & Beyond has a great no-slip mat with fast drying memory foam surface; they also come in a variety of colors.

  •         De-clutter your medicine cabinet. If you don’t use it, get rid of it. If you have extras, put it in a separate box labeled extras. By making the sink and medicine cabinet clutter free it clears any confusion on where medicines are (especially in a time of crisis).
  •        Toilet safety. Having a handle rail for the toilet is great for getting up and down, these vary from $30-$60. A raised toilet seat is always recommended, but you will need to have a professional install it for you.

3.      The Bedroom.

  •       The Bed. When was the last time you got a new mattress? You are the best judge concerning your comfort, but if it has been over 8 years, you might need to look into getting a new one. How high is your bed frame? If it is starting to become difficult getting in and out of bed, changing the height of your bed can make a huge difference. Local stores sell guard-rails for beds and are easy to install.

  •          Side-tables. If lamps are hard to reach, you can get lamps that are easy to move, some are attached to the walls. You can also install a movable tray from your end-table which can make it better for grabbing water, books and other needs.

  •        Again, check you path! If there are boxes, chairs or even rugs, make sure they are out of the way or securely attached to the ground to prevent tripping.

4.      Walk through the Hallways. You can place small grab handles throughout hallways to secure balance. If you have a walker, you should always be using it in the home.

5.      The Kitchen.

  •         Emergency contact list should always be visible by the phone. A phone with big numbers and easy to use speed dial can be found at your local Radio Shack.

  •         Jar openers come in many forms, my favorite is the one that can be installed under your kitchen cabinet in the shape of a triangle.

  •       Grabbers! Senior aids in the home like grabbers can be useful for not having to bend over, or reach for items on a top shelf.

  •         Just like in the bathroom, having a clean and organized kitchen is key to a safe home.
  •          Replace your mats! Make sure you have a mat with grip in the kitchen.

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by C.Jamieson

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