If you’re a caregiver for an elderly parent, you know that some home modifications are necessary to make your home safer for your loved one. Elders are more at risk for falling accidents from many potential causes – lower visual acuity, slower reflexes, or an illness or injury that makes sudden movement difficult or painful. You can get out ahead of potential problems by making some simple, and often inexpensive, modifications to your home. This elderly home safety checklist will help you make your home a safer place for your elderly loved one.
Remove accident triggers
Go through your home and make note of all the things that might possibly cause an accident. Possible items could include loose or torn rugs, dangling appliance cords, loose or broken chair legs, or a wobbly floor board. Repair, replace, or remove such items. An expert in furniture repair can even show you how to modify your furniture to make it safer for an elderly family member. For example, you can add sturdy arms to chairs, or raise the seat level of a couch to make it easier for your loved one to rise from a seated position. You can also request reupholstery services to make your furniture more elder-friendly: for example, softer, more comfortable textiles, in place of vinyl, leather or easily scratched or damaged options.
Your bathroom can pose a falling risk for your elderly family members. Be sure to remove floor mats that might slip, or shower curtains that trail the floor. It’s wise to install plenty of grab bars, both inside the tub and outside. If you can afford it, consider installing a walk in tub, or a walk in shower that’s large enough for a bath bench. Install safety strips on the shower and bathroom floors, and check them frequently to ensure that they’re still secure.
An automated device, such as a “stair chair,” is the safest possible way for an elderly person to use the stairs. But if you can’t afford the hefty price tag, you can still take steps to make a stair climb safer in your home. Repair any broken or wobbling stair rails and steps. Check often to be sure that the stairway is free of loose objects such as toys, shoes, or socks. If the stairway is carpeted, be sure that the carpet is free of loose ends or raveling threads. Be sure that all stairways in your home are brightly lit, and ask your loved one to call for your help before using the stairs.
In case of emergency
It’s a good idea to have some way of keeping tabs on your loved one. Consider installing an intercom system in your home, especially if your home is large. If you will not always be at home to check on your elder, it’s a good idea to give your loved one a personal cell phone, or to sign them up for a monitoring service, so they can call for help in an emergency. Be sure that your elder’s bedroom is on the first floor of your home, or that there is an easily accessible escape route in case of a fire or natural disaster.
If you follow these simple tips, you can make your home a safer place for your loved one. There are many furniture repair pros in NYC who can help you make your home décor more beautiful, and safer, for all the members of your family.