Out of all age demographics, senior citizens are perhaps the most at risk of safety issues within the comfort of their own home. Some safety issues are self-induced, such as lacking proper mobility and bathroom equipment, while others arise from outside threats, like thieves and home invaders. No matter the case, protecting yourself from unnecessary safety issues should be the top of your to-do-list if you are a senior citizen. Below are several important home safety tips for senior citizens.
Install a Surveillance System
If you are living alone and are worried about your safety, it is a good idea to install a surveillance system. Having a home security camera is great for many reasons. First, you will always see who is walking by your house or an apartment. Also, you will always be able to see who is visiting you and who is at the front door. Elderly people living alone are more likely to be targeted by thieves and home invaders. So, using a security camera will largely reduce the possibility of some crime happening in your home. If, however, something bad does happen, you will always have proof to show to your insurance company. Also, you can always ask for assistance if your insurance claim gets denied. Surveillance cameras should be placed both inside and outside of your home.
Install a Panic Button
A panic button, or emergency response system, is specially designed for seniors living alone, that is for seniors who enjoy independent living. This panic button should be placed somewhere where it is easily reachable and where you usually spend the most time. For example, close to your favorite chair, or couch. So, if something happens to you, either health or security related, you can hit the panic button and the emergency services will be notified. Of course, this button does not cover all the emergencies, but just those basic ones. However, it will go a long way towards keeping you safe, connected to clinics and giving you a piece of mind.
Secure the Bathroom
The bathroom is definitely one of the most problematic areas for seniors. Especially for seniors who have difficulties moving. Fortunately, there are so many things that you can install into your bathroom to make it more secure and easier to use. You can buy bath aids like handlebars to grab, built-in seats in the shower, a bath-mat with a non-slip bottom, a nightlight and many other things. Another thing that will help you out in the bathroom is to always keep your lights on and to make sure that the hot and cold faucets are clearly marked. These small adjustments and improvements can make your life easier and more comfortable.
Secure the Kitchen
The kitchen is another room that can be complicated for seniors. It is a good idea to install fire alarms all over the house, but especially in the kitchen, so if a fire does happen, firefighters will be there in no time. Keep your sharp knives covered, pay attention to the expiration dates, and never wear loose clothes when cooking.
Have Sufficient Lighting
As you are getting older, your vision is probably not as good as it used to be. So, it is important to have plenty of lighting in each and every room of your home. Or at least in all the rooms you spend your time the most. If you want to save money on electricity, you can install lights that come on by themselves when someone enters a room. They are perfect if you need your hands for holding onto a railing or using a cane or a walker.
Have an Emergency Contact Information on Hand
It is not uncommon for seniors to suffer from memory issues. Because of this, it is important to have all the emergency numbers close by at all times. Ask somebody to write them down for you if you cannot do it yourself. Make sure to have these numbers on some visible place, which is also close to your phone:
- Family member or friend to call in case of emergency
- Your closest, and the most trusted neighbor
- Emergency telephone number - 911
- Healthcare provider’s office
- Fire department
Also, in case of an emergency like fire or burglary, you should have an emergency escape plan. If possible, practice this plan whenever you can. Moreover, leave a spare key with a trusted neighbor in case you forgot something, or you are having some troubles!
What to Install to Prevent Falls
Making your home fall-proof is of key importance, especially if you have difficulties walking or seeing. So, if you are prone to accidents, you should make some adjustments to your home in order to prevent them. You can install rails in the bathrooms and along staircases. And if your floors are slippery, you should definitely cover them with rugs. Also, you can pin your rugs to the floor to make sure they will not move under your feet. Another thing to bear in mind is to have no clutter scattered all over your home.