Have Senior Relatives Living with You? How to Elderly-Proof Your Home

Written by  //  March 7, 2018  //  Home Construction  //  Comments Off on Have Senior Relatives Living with You? How to Elderly-Proof Your Home

elderly home

If a senior adult lives with you, you must be diligent to guard against falls. In 2010, falls sent about 2.3 million Americans over age 65 to the emergency room. Over one-quarter of those people were admitted to the hospital. Falls are not entirely preventable, but elderly-proofing your home can reduce their likelihood. The following tips will help you get your home’s safety makeover started.

Build an Outdoor Ramp

Steps at the front or back door are a hazard for adults with balance problems. Installing a handrail can help, but the best thing to do is to get rid of the steps entirely. Replacing stairs with a ramp provides a smooth transition into the house for your loved one. A gradual incline of 1 inch of height for every 20 inches of length is easiest to navigate. To make the ramp even safer, be sure that it has a non-slip surface.

Make the Hallway Safer

Walking through the living spaces of your home, a senior can use chairs and other furniture as supports. Hallways typically lack such advantages, so trekking from one end to the other can feel like an insurmountable challenge. Installing handrails along the length of the corridor can restore your loved one’s confidence to walk down the hall without help. While you’re at it, be sure to take throw rugs out of the hallway. It’s too easy for seniors to lose their footing on these nonessential decor pieces.

Upgrade the Bathroom

Seniors want to maintain privacy in the bathroom. However, without some safety measures, this can be a dangerous room. Getting into the tub requires balance, so you may need to install a step-in shower. Hanging handrails near the tub is a lower-cost alternative. Seniors will find it easiest to maintain self-care independence if you install a raised toilet seat and nearby hand supports.

Simplify Entryways

Going from room to room shouldn’t be dangerous, but it often is. Wood or metal thresholds are meant to provide a decorative transition from one from one type of flooring to another. Unfortunately, these strips are usually bulky and can trip up unsteady feet. Remove the thresholds from the doorways, and your loved one will be less likely to take a spill. If there’s a difference in flooring height between rooms, use a small ramp to bridge the gap.

For a senior, the effects of a slip and fall accident can be long-lasting. Recovery is often slow, and fear of falling again can discourage active living. Elderly-proofing your home can help protect your loved one from a nasty tumble.

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