Preparing your Home Fall and Safety Precautions for Elderly

<p>Are you about to move in with your elderly parents? There are many reasons why this might be necessary. It might be because of old age, or it may be because they are facing a house foreclosure. Whatever the reason may be, there are several preparations that you need to make. The majority of changes that you need to make are linked to fall and safety precautions for elderly. It\’s generally easier to navigate your home as a younger person, but that gets a little complicated when your mobility becomes limited.</p>

<p>Making all the necessary changes for your older loved ones can be a bit challenging. After all, the majority of people are used to babyproofing, and creating an elderly-friendly home is something that people don\’t often do. Here\’s a guide to some of the fall and safety precautions for elderly that you need to consider.</p>

<h3>Elder-Proof Your Bathrooms</h3>
<p>The bathroom is the one place that you need to focus on when it comes to fall and safety precautions for elderly. There is a risk of falling in the bathroom, even for people that are not old. Imagine how much worse things can get when your mobility is limited. Since you know that bathrooms are full of slick surfaces, you need to find ways to make them safer for your older loved ones. </p>

<p>When it comes to the bathroom, some of the fall and safety precautions for elderly include installing slip prevention flooring. You can also throw in some non-skid bath mats and non-slip strips. It\’s also important to install grab bars in the showers and next to the toilets. Grab bars can come in quite handy in a space that\’s difficult to navigate. You must also consider installing fold-down seats or benches in the shower. </p>

<p>Another great addition to your bathroom is handheld adjustable showerheads. These usually come with at least six feet of hose. A handheld shower makes it a lot easier for your elderly loved one to take a shower. Apart from that, you must also think about increasing the lighting so that one can easily see everything. </p>

<p>When installing grab bars, you must keep in mind that you need to install them with brackets. Grab bars must be able to support up to 300 pounds of weight. Most people opt for U-shaped bars instead of diagonal ones. The U-shaped ones reduce the risk of falling better than the diagonal ones. While you are at it, you must remember to only go for the quality products. It might seem like you are saving money when you go for cheaper grab bars, but you may end up parting with a significant chunk of cash if your loved one falls and fractures their leg. </p>

<h3>Clear Up Clutter</h3>

<p>A cluttered home is not a good environment even when there are no elderly loved ones in the house. This is why getting rid of clutter is one of the most important fall and safety precautions for elderly. Imagine how painful stepping on a toy can be for you. This is why it\’s important to do away with the clutter. Before your loved one moves in, you need to declutter your home. The last thing you want is your elderly loved one ending up with a fracture because of a dog or kid\’s toy. You also don\’t want to have them spend a lot of time and energy going through the closets looking for what they need.</p>

<p>Anything that you don\’t use daily must go on the list of things that you might need to do away with. This doesn\’t mean that you should throw away your things. The best you can do is to at least neatly store the things that you don\’t use somewhere safe and out of sight. If your pets aren\’t trained, you should consider keeping them in their own designated area. </p>

<h3>Rearrange Your Furniture</h3>

<p>The arrangement of your furniture can make your home a bit difficult to navigate for some. This is why you need to take the time to arrange your furniture as part of fall and safety precautions for elderly. Your furniture needs to be arranged in a way that makes your home easier to navigate. Your home shouldn\’t be arranged like a maze. This can be a challenge for an elderly loved one, especially if they are in a wheelchair or if they use a walker. </p>

<p>The general idea is to arrange your furniture so that there is a lot of space left to move around. For instance, you can move the couches as close to the walls as you can. You must also consider placing grab bars on all raised thresholds. Apart from that, you must also make sure that the floors are even and slip-proof. Also, remember to do away with area rugs as they can increase the risk of falling.</p>

<h3>Make Accommodations for Limited Mobility</h3>

<p>A lot of elderly people have trouble moving around. Some are slow-moving, and others don\’t have a lot of strength to walk and move about on their own. Some might even end up with handicaps because of old age. For this reason, you must make sure that your house accommodates someone with limited mobility. You must set aside time to take an inventory of your home and identify areas where you can throw in some fall and safety precautions for elderly. Consider the location and arrangement of things like stairs, doorknobs, the width of doors, the number of steps to bedrooms, and electrical outlets. You need to make sure that everything is easily accessible. </p>

<p>The risk of falling and getting injured increases as one is trying to reach for things that are difficult to access. You also need to make sure that the bedrooms and rooms that they use frequently are easy to access. For instance, you should consider the distance between their bedroom and their bathroom. You also need to check to make sure that there are no large stairs that they need to go through in order to access their commonly used rooms. Lastly, think about whether things like kitchen appliances are easy to use. </p>

<p>These things can seem trivial to you, but something as simple as adding some grab bars throughout the entire house can make it way easier to navigate for someone with mobility issues. </p>

<h3>Safety Tips for Entryways</h3>
<p>Before you start thinking about indoor safety tips, you also need to think about safety tips for the entryways. If getting into the house is difficult, it won\’t matter that there are lots of grab bars in the house. You must make sure that the path to the driveway is clear and convenient. You also need to inspect all the walkways for cracks, stones, and loose bricks. Apart from that, it\’s crucial to ensure that the surfaces are even. If anything is out of place, you need to find someone to repair all the flaws and make sure that the walking surface is free of trip hazards.</p>

<p>You need to trim the landscaping so that all the walking paths are wide enough to accommodate someone moving with a wheelchair or walker. If there are steps on the entryways, you must ensure that you install handrails on both sides. Apart from that, you also need to ensure that the stairs treads are non-slip. If you are expecting your loved one\’s mobility challenges to increase, you must also start considering whether there is enough space to install a ramp. A step-less entry will make it easier for someone in a wheelchair to gain access. </p>

<h3>General Home Maintenance</h3>

<p>When you are preparing to live with an elderly loved one, you also need to ensure that you take care of your general home maintenance. You must remember to take care of things like water heater replacement and water heater repairs. While this might not increase the safety of the home, hot water is a must when you are living with an elderly loved one. You also need to ensure that all interior architectural woodwork is on point. If any of your handrails or grab bars are made from wood, they need to be sturdy to prevent falls. </p>

<p>You also need to hire a roofing service to inspect your roof to ensure that the insulation is in good condition. You don\’t want to end up with snow dams, mold, and other roof-related conditions that can put the health of those in your home at risk. </p>

<p>As you are dealing with home maintenance, you should also remember to get things like your well pumps services. You also need to consider your indoor air quality. Having poor quality air can risk the health of your loved ones. It can cause allergies and other respiratory illnesses. This is why it\’s crucial to take care of HVAC repairs. You can even get a new Air conditioning unit pay monthly. </p>

<p>Lastly, you need to have someone look at things like your propane gas tanks to ensure that your home is generally safe. If your elderly relative is still driving, they will need somewhere to park the car. In most instances, if you are alone, you may neglect things like garage door service. However, since you will be staying with your loved one, you need to ensure that the garage door functions as expected. </p>

<h3>Ensure that the Bedroom Is Safe and Secure</h3>
<p>The bedroom is one of those places where slips and falls are likely to occur. One of the best ways to ensure that the bedroom is safe is to purchase an adjustable bed. The advantages of an adjustable bed are that the height can be lowered, making transfers easier. When transferring the elderly to and from their bed, make sure that they are able to sit on the edge of the bed with their knees bent and their feet touching the floor. If the bed height is still too high, you can lower it additionally by removing the box spring or using a box spring that sits lower. </p>

<p>Besides making sure that the bed\’s height can be adjusted for safer transfers, it\’s important to also install bed rails so that seniors have support as they\’re being transferred from the bed. Without bedrails, it\’s easy for a senior to quickly lose their balance, resulting in a fall. Bedrails also come in handy when the senior needs to pull themselves up to sit up properly. Another safety tip that prevents accidents involving the elderly is to ensure that there\’s always a flashlight within reach in case of emergencies. For instance, if there\’s a power outage, keeping a flashlight on the nightstand means the elderly can still have some illumination to help navigate the room should they need to get out of bed.</p>

<p>These are some of the fall and safety precautions for elderly loved ones that you need to consider. It\’s important to take time to inspect your home and find every area that needs to be made fall-proof. Another great concern when it comes to staying with an elderly loved one is accessibility—having some items that are difficult to access can create a risk of falling or getting injured. For instance, if some things are out of reach, one might end up needing to climb on top of chairs, beds, or another object so they can access them easily. </p>

<p>All these are things that you need to consider when looking into fall and safety precautions for elderly loved ones. If you are not sure what else to do, you can find a professional to inspect your home and highlight some areas for you. The best way to locate someone who can help you is to search the internet. They will identify all areas where you need to apply some fall and safety precautions for elderly people. After the inspection, you can then go over their report and make all the necessary changes. This can take time, and it may cost some money, so you may need to start a bit early so by the time your loved one needs to move in, you will be done.</p>