Maintaining your independence is easy to do from home. All this requires is a few upgraded implements that make can make everything easy. The first step to making your house safe for seniors, is making sure you have a clear layout. Also, you want to avoid having to climb stairs or to have to store things in an attic or basement.
Keep Everything Level
Everything needs to be ground level for the easiest and safest access points. If you have stairs you can install electric chair lift to allow yourself to move between floors freely. If you are wheel chair bound ramps should be installed in every entrance, front door and back. If you are looking at apartments, there are usually several complexes with elevators in their facilities.
Install Safety Devices, “Safety Proof” Your Home
Installing grab bars near toilets, bathtubs, and other seating arrangements will allow you to pull yourself up and down and keep your balance while taking care of personal needs. You may want to consider changing out standard bathtubs and showers with walk-in bath tubs and showers. Place safety decals and bright tape on glass doors and windows for the elderly with poor eyesight who can’t see there is something there. Safety grip matts are very important to avoid shower falls. Getting rid of area rugs can also eliminate slip and fall accidents.
Move Everything Lower
Move items in cupboards to the lowest shelves possible. You don’t want to have to get up and down off of step stools and ladders to reach items. Changing out furniture with something that is low to the ground can make things easier to access and store. Have a gripper in every room for the higher up items. Also putting flashlights in every room makes it easy to find things without having to get on your hands and knees. Cover sharp corners with soft protectors to avoid bruising and cuts. Rocking/lifting recliners are a great addition to any home for people who have difficulty getting up and down. Make sure things like bookcases, shelves, and dressers are safely secured to walls and floors to avoid things tipping over.
Maintain Consistent Temperatures
As we get older, our skin becomes ever more sensitive to temperature. Keep your thermostat at an even degree such as 74 or 76. Avoid turning it off because the harder it has to work to heat up or cool, the more your electric bill will be. You also want to set your water thermostat to 120 degrees to prevent scalding. Also label the hot and cold water for easy reading and differentiating. Additionally, be sure to check smoke detectors and other appliances to make sure they are working and won’t cause a hazard. Ask a friend, family member, or a caretaker to assist with any checking that all is in good working order.
Medical Alerts Help
Install a medical alert system with a portable pendant. While vanity may be hard to overcome, medical alert systems allow seniors to be active and live alone without the worry that of potential falls, illness, or other injuries. There’s no worry that you or someone you love could be without needed emergency assistance for long periods of time. Medical alert buttons come in different styles that make them discreet and fashionable. They can be programmed with important medical information about specific diagnosis, medical history, and current medications and allergies. Having this information readily available to police, fire, and emergency medical services saves time and lives.
An “Old Fashioned” Landline Can Be Just What You Need
Install a landline. Even though everyone is switching to cell phones these days, in times of emergency, dispatch needs to find your location, and cell phones aren’t always accurate. Landlines provide the most accurate residential location. Keep a list of emergency contacts next to every phone and on the refrigerator. With simple steps, planning, and frequent evaluations you can make it easy to be independent and stay in your home.