Planning to Age in Place? Here Are 6 Home Safety Tips

shschicagometro 24 Aug 2021

Many older Americans are choosing to age in place. HomeAdvisor recently published AARP survey results showing that 73-percent of seniors prefer to stay in their current home rather than moving to a senior community or nursing home. As seniors begin facing up to the physical and mental limitations that often come with aging, there are things they can do to ensure their homes continue to provide a safe place for them to live.

Safety tip #1: Identify and remove tripping obstacles

The CDC reports that falls are responsible for the most injuries experienced by seniors over 65 years old, resulting in about 3 million emergency room visits each year. It is crucial to avoid accidents as eyesight deteriorates and reflexes slow down. It is important to keep the floor clear of anything that could obstruct walkways.

Safety tip #2: Make bathrooms super safe

According to the CDC, 230,000 people are hurt in their bathrooms each year. This area is high-risk and should be given special attention by boomers who are trying to find ways to stay safe in everyday life. While most of these accidents are the result of falling, there are others concerns to consider too when improving bathroom safety.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Grab bars can be added to the tub and toilet.
  • Use night lights to improve lighting.
  • You can prevent burns by setting hot water temperatures to 110 F.
  • You can also add a raised toilet seat.
  • If possible, consider installing a walk-in bathtub.
  • To prevent excessive exertion, install a bathing chair in the shower.
  • Take out any items that could cause you to trip.

Tip #3: Prevent and prepare for fires

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that seniors are killed or injured at twice the rate of younger people. Seniors are encouraged to install fire extinguishers and fire alarms in their homes.

The NFPA recommends that you sleep on the ground floor so that you can escape in an emergency. Every bedroom should have a smoke alarm. In case of an emergency, you should always have a cell phone in every bedroom.

You might consider a fire drill to ensure that you and your family are prepared in the event of a fire. Make sure that you can open each door and window. Make sure everyone hears the alarm. It is recommended that people with hearing impairments use a flashing light in conjunction with an audible alarm.

Safety tip #4: Protect your home from burglaries and uninvited visitors

Deadbolts should be installed on all doors. This will prevent most burglars from getting into your home.

It is normal to let our guard down at home. However, it is essential that you lock all doors including your garage or basement doors.

Never allow a stranger to enter your home. While you wait for a repairman to arrive, make sure to confirm with the company the name, vehicle, and uniform of the individual.

Safety tip #5: Know your emergency contact numbers

It is always a smart idea to keep emergency numbers readily available so you can quickly respond to an emergency. It is a smart idea to write them down so they are always available.

These numbers are good to have in your arsenal:

  • Poison control
  • Family members or friends
  • Office of a healthcare provider
  • 911

Safety tip #6: Use technology to your advantage.

Many security devices are available that can be used by seniors to help them age at home. Although shopping online and ordering groceries or food via a smartphone is now commonplace, senior citizens are looking to protect their homes with smart home gadgets.

The Nest Protect, which acts as a smoke and carbon monoxide detector, has been a popular gadget. This detector does not sound an alarm and knocks you out of bed, but instead of a loud alarm that sounds like a bell, it speaks to you in human language alerting you to the danger. You will be able to get important details such as the exact location and affected levels.

Security cameras have become inexpensive and popular with models being sold for as little as $20. A popular choice is the Wyze Cam V2 camera. The Wyze Cam v2 camera works like a baby monitor, and you can view your entire house. You can also see your porch, which is useful for delivering packages or verifying the identity of anyone standing there. It is not necessary to subscribe to a monthly fee.

The Takeaway

As they age, seniors come to appreciate the many advantages of living at home. In most cases, seniors should be able to safely enjoy their golden years in the comfort of their own homes by making simple, affordable modifications.

Article contributed by David Goldstein Co-founder of Boomer Buyer Guides

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