As we age, our homes can become more hazardous than we realize. Everyday objects that we once took for granted can become dangerous obstacles, causing falls, burns and other injuries. For seniors, these risks can be particularly dangerous, as they are often more prone to accidents and may have underlying health conditions that make recovery more difficult.
What are the most common hazards in a senior’s home? What necessary changes should be made to keep the elderly safe?
Bathrooms can be particularly hazardous for seniors, as they are often wet and slippery. Adding home bathroom modifications such as grab bars and non-slip mats can help seniors maintain their balance while getting in and out of the shower or using the toilet. It may also be helpful to install a raised toilet seat or a shower bench to make bathing more comfortable.
The kitchen can be a dangerous place for anyone, but seniors are particularly vulnerable to burns and other injuries. Consider installing safety devices such as automatic shut-off switches on stovetops and ovens. You should also consider adding safety knobs that require a certain level of pressure to turn on. As well, seniors should avoid wearing loose clothing or jewellery while cooking and using hot surfaces.
Poor lighting can make it difficult for seniors to see potential hazards around the home. Installing brighter bulbs and adding more lighting fixtures in key areas can help seniors to see clearly and avoid falls. In addition, it may be helpful to install motion sensor lights in areas like hallways and staircases.
Many seniors take multiple medications each day. This can be confusing and potentially dangerous. Consider investing in a pill organizer that can help seniors keep track of their medications and ensure that they take the correct dose at the right time. Also, seniors should always consult with their doctor or pharmacist before starting a new medication or making any changes to their current regimen.
“According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, 66% of seniors take 5 or more medications, and 25% take 10 or more,” reports Lifeline.ca, “Studies also show that the more medications we take, the greater the risk of a fall or medical emergency because we are more sensitive to potential side effects and adverse drug interactions.”
Stairs can be a major hazard for seniors, especially those with mobility issues. Even a single step can be dangerous, as it can cause a trip or a fall. Installing handrails on both sides of the staircase can provide support and reduce the risk of falls. If possible, seniors should also consider installing a stair lift or moving to a single-story home.
Stair lifts can be mounted on either straight or curved staircases, making it easy to access other levels of your home with any type of stair design. A home stair lift can be mounted both inside or outside, depending on your needs.
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we offer both Handicare and Bruno stair lifts. To learn all about them, please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at [email protected]. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!