Home Safety for Seniors: 10 Safety Tips for Seniors Living Alone
If your elderly parents have chosen to live alone and you are worried about their home safety, your concerns are absolutely valid. Ageing comes with many challenges. Senses get duller, bones brittle and physical strength dwindle. As a result, home accidents are prevalent among seniors than young people.
To help you out, here are ten tips to improve home safety for seniors living alone:
1. Get a Home Alarm System Accessible for Seniors
Your first home safety tip is to get a good home alarm system from a reputable security firm. It should come with video surveillance cameras, which you can use to check on your parents via your smartphone. Video surveillance cameras also accord you the opportunity to see if the caregiver is attentive to the needs and safety of your loved one.
A home alarm system is also a deterrent to would-be thieves. Robbers and home invaders often target seniors living alone. The alarm will serve to inform you of the happenings at your ageing parents’ home and scare away the would-be thief.
2. Install a Panic Button for Home Emergencies
The panic button is a crucial home safety measure for seniors living alone. Your elderly parents should be able to access emergency services when they need them. Have a panic button specifically designed for the elderly installed at their home. You have it installed next to the senior’s favourite chair where they can access it easily. If anything happens, all they need is to push the button to receive emergency services promptly.
3. Make the Senior Citizen’s Home Fall-Proof
Be deliberate in preventing home accidents among the elderly. For example, since the bathroom is prone to home accidents, install rails in showers, tubs, and along staircases to prevent bathroom and stairs falls. Declutter the walkways and pay attention to the loose floorboard and power cables.
Remove rugs from places the senior often visits. Place shower benches and nonslip mats in the bathroom to help the senior walk safely.
4. Improve Fire Safety
Home safety for seniors is important, but it is equally important to consider the fire safety for older adults at home. Statistics show that senior citizens are more prone to fire accidents than young people. In the US, people over 65 years have a fire death rate nearly twice the national average. It is therefore critical to install smoke detectors and fire alarms in the house.
Create fire safety awareness and teach them to follow the laid down procedures in case of a fire emergency. Go a step further and install smoke detectors in every floor of the home, bedrooms and on the hall outside the bedrooms. Diligently check all the alarms regularly to ascertain they are in good working condition.
5. Provide Emergency Contact Information
Write down emergency telephone numbers and post the list near the senior’s favourite resting place, bedroom and any other easily accessible spot. Provide telephone numbers for the Police, fire department, a family member and the nearest hospital. Since seniors are easily forgetful, drill them on what to do during an emergency.
6. Sufficient Lighting
To improve home safety for seniors, make sure there is sufficient lighting in the home. Install motion switches in places easily accessible to the elderly. A good practice would be to place one at the start of a staircase and another at the end. The beginning and the end of the hallway are ideal spots for the installation of lights. Walking in a poorly lit house is a major cause of injuries among the elderly. Install good lighting in every area of the house and compound. Eliminate the possibility of a senior walking in the dark.
7. Prevent Scalding
Do not assume your beloved senior will set the right temperature for their bathing water. Hot water can cause serious scalding. Set the water heater thermostat at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
8. Advanced Seniors Home Safety Products
The marketplace has senior apps and gadgets that help keep ageing people safe. Many of these are readily available and work perfectly with existing alarm systems. They can be used alongside other safety tips to monitor the times a senior falls and cannot get up. In such a case, a signal is sent to your phone, which prompts you to call quick response emergency services.
9. Drug Safety
Frequently review medicines meant for senior citizens with the doctor or pharmacist. Label the medicines clearly and set an alarm to remind the elderly person when to administer the drug. Do not keep partially used medicine in the house except for the current dose. This way you will prevent accidents in case a senior has dementia.
10. Protection from Cyber Attacks
The elderly are easy cybercrime targets. You don’t want to see all your parents’ pension stolen at the touch of a button. Advise your senior not to accept any links or suspicious online offers. This protects them from possible online fraud.
The safety of your senior is a daily imperative you cannot ignore. By diligently observing these safety tips, you can protect your loved one from avoidable injuries and costly pain.