As family members age, you may feel more and more concerned about them living on their own. However, you can make a home safe for seniors. Whether you’re having an elderly family member move in with you or are renovating their home, here are tips to help your loved ones age in place.
Ways to Make a Home Safe for Senior Citizens
Upgrade the Lighting
As we age, our eyesight may not be as good as it once was. To help improve safety in a home, install brighter lights. You may need to upgrade or install new fixtures or add brighter LED bulbs throughout the house. Smart bulbs are an excellent option for elderly individuals who feel comfortable using voice commands to control the lighting. Smart bulbs and a smart home hub will help an elderly family member manage their household using their voice.
Install nightlights to improve safety after dark. There are products available that turn on automatically at dusk and turn off again in the morning. Automatic nightlights are especially useful in dark hallways, bathrooms, and the kitchen. If an older family member needs water in the middle of the night, the way will be well-lit.
Rugs are attractive and decorative, plus they add warmth to our homes. However, throw rugs pose a tripping hazard in a household with older individuals. Especially if your family member uses a wheelchair or walker, carpeting is not ideal flooring.
Consider removing carpets and throw rugs and, instead, installing cork flooring. Cork is a sustainable material that is soft underfoot and more comfortable than hardwoods.
Install Grab Bars to Make a Home Safe for Seniors
As we age, it becomes more challenging to navigate our homes. The bathroom is one of the most common areas for falls in elderly individuals. Install secure grab bars in the shower, outside the shower, and beside the toilet. Grab bars will help your older family member steady themselves and reduce the risk of falls.
Rethink Storage in the Home
Because falls are a real risk for older family members, it’s important to make the home as safe and accessible as possible. Assess the storage in the house and move things to locations that are easy to reach for your senior family member. In the kitchen, make sure cookware is in a lower cupboard. The idea is to make everything easy to reach, so a step ladder is unnecessary.
Use these tips to improve safety around your house. Elderly family members sometimes find it challenging to see well after dark and reach overhead cabinets. Eliminate tripping hazards by keeping walkways clear and well-lit. You will boost their feelings of independence and confidence while living at home.