The unfortunate truth of growing old is what once were minor obstacles have now become potentially dangerous. One in four senior Americans fall each year, and accidents in a senior’s home aren’t out of the ordinary, but they can be both avoided and prevented. By providing a senior with the following safety devices, you can properly improve their safety both while in and out of the home.
1. Medical Alert Bracelet
Unexpected medical emergencies can strike while outside of the home, especially if a senior is currently living with a health condition like diabetes or allergies. A medical alert bracelet is a simple way to provide a senior with protection while they’re outside of their residence. Safely secured around their wrist, the band allows seniors to keep their vital medical info on hand, while also displaying relevant information, such as their name, a caretaker’s phone number, and their medical condition.
2. Secure Handrails Beside Stairways
Balance issues tend to affect seniors due to problems of the inner ear, core strength and ankle, knee and hip weakness. Altogether, this can cause climbing and descending stairs to become increasingly difficult. But the daily task can be made easier with some assistance. The installation of sturdy, secure handrails on both sides of stairwells can improve a senior’s safety while improving their confidence in walking up and down the stairs.
3. A Well-Lit Home
Poor lighting can be dangerous, as a dark entryway or stairwell could lead to a serious trip and fall. It’s important, for this reason, to properly light a senior’s home to reduce the chance of falling or other accidents. Good LED lights are always reliable. Rather than having a senior rely on searching for a light switch in the dark, you can consider installing motion-activated lights to improve their safety even more.
4. Ring Doorbell
If the senior in your life is comfortable using technology, such as a smartphone or an iPad, a Ring Doorbell might be a good addition. This enhances home security by allowing homeowners to hear and speak with visitors before opening the front door or letting them in.
Even if they’re unacquainted with digital technology, a Ring Doorbell can be useful for caregivers or children, who can be set to receive mobile notifications whenever someone comes to the door.
5. Bathroom Grab Bars
Bathrooms present numerous risks for seniors, as slippery surfaces can lead to serious falls. Moreover, getting in and out of the shower can be a task for some seniors, especially if they have to lift their legs over the lip to get in.
It’s recommended that grab bars be installed in the bathroom to improve senior safety, whether at the toilet or inside the shower. They are seriously helpful when installed inside and outside the shower as it provides a senior with balance as they maneuver their body in a wet, slippery environment. They’re equally beneficial when installed by the toilet, as it makes getting up and down easier, whether that senior is dealing with a balance issue or weakened, stiff muscles.
6. Non-Slip Bath and Shower Mat
Enhance shower safety even more by reducing the chances of an in-shower slip-and-fall. While grab bars improve stability getting in and out of the shower, it won’t be that helpful if a senior regularly slips on wet surfaces. A non-slip bath and shower mat will ensure there’s a secure surface both in and out of the shower.
7. Shower Chair
Take shower safety one step further by installing a shower chair in their shower. Rather than having to stand and maintain their balance throughout a shower, a senior will be able to sit and relax in a shower chair, all while bathing themselves with ease. This is especially helpful for seniors with limited mobility, as they’ll have a secure place to sit while cleaning themselves—preferably with a removable showerhead.
8. Medical Alert Systems
Another way to maintain safety under all conditions is to provide a senior with a medical alert system. Whether installed in their home or placed around their neck as a piece of jewelry, these products are designed to keep seniors safe by notifying the right parties when a medical emergency has occurred.
Some devices will include a button that can be pushed when in danger, while other devices will include automatic fall detection technology. Seniors are kept safe with either, ensuring a qualified caregiver is contacted in the event of an emergency. For family members seeking senior care for a loved one, Caregiverlist recommends that you verify the credentials of service providers in your area to ensure they are qualified, experienced, and happy to assist your loved one as needed.
9. Alzheimer’s ID Bracelet
People affected by Alzheimer’s will wander, straying away from their home residence in a disoriented haze, unable to remember their name, address, and familiar places. While there are ways to limit wandering, such as carrying out daily activities and having a supervisor nearby throughout the day, it can still happen. A useful device to aid in this scenario is to have a senior wear an Alzheimer’s ID bracelet.
The bracelet will contain relevant information about the senior, such as their name, address, caretaker’s number, child’s number, and a clear statement that they have Alzheimer’s. In some cases, seeing this might work as a reminder for them, helping to lessen their disorientation; however, it’s more likely this can be read by a concerned citizen who can care for them, getting in contact with the relevant party to provide the senior with help.
10. Electric Kettle
It’s reported that seniors are almost three times more likely to die in a fire than any other part of the population. We recommend getting seniors an electric kettle for this reason, as it will lessen the chances of them forgetting to turn off a stovetop burner. These devices often feature safety precautions that will lessen the likelihood of burns compared to a traditional metal kettle.
It might sound as if there are many things to consider when it comes to senior safety, but it’s all about covering the basics. With aging comes deficiencies of the mind and body, so it’s important to improve safety related to mindfulness, visibility, and slip-and-fall hazards. With a little precaution, a senior’s home can be effectively improved to enhance overall safety.