The majority of older adults wish to stay in their own homes as they age, and now more than ever this is an attainable goal, provided that they can live safely, that is. According to the CDC, more than one in four older adults suffers a fall each year. And once an older person experiences a fall, their chances of falling again are doubled. Creating a safe home for seniors can help prevent dangerous falls and improve their overall ability to age in place safely and comfortably.
What Are the Components of a Safe Home for Seniors?
A home that prioritizes safety not only reduces the likelihood of falls but also supports easy access to frequently used items, improves accessibility within living spaces, and encourages a clean and clutter-free environment. To achieve this, the main components of a safe home for seniors should include:
- Proper Lighting: Inadequate lighting can lead to accidents and falls, posing a significant risk to older adults. It can also have an effect on a person’s mental health, and may contribute to feelings of depression. Ensure that all areas of the home, including hallways, staircases, and entrances, are well-lit. Install nightlights in bedrooms and bathrooms to provide visibility during the nighttime hours. Replace burned out bulbs promptly, and ensure that the bulbs are an appropriate wattage to illuminate the space.
- Handrails in Baths and Showers: Bathrooms can be potential danger zones due to slippery surfaces. Installing handrails in baths and showers adds an extra layer of support, reducing the risk of slips and falls. These simple yet crucial additions empower individuals to maintain their independence while ensuring a safer bathing experience.
- Space to Walk and Move Around: A clutter-free environment is essential for individuals to move around safely. Remove unnecessary items and ensure that walkways are free from obstacles. Consider organizing spaces to minimize the need for excessive reaching or bending. This not only enhances safety but also contributes to a more comfortable and stress-free living environment.
- Furniture That Meets the Senior’s Needs: Low couches or chairs can be difficult for older adults to get in and out of. Make sure that seating isn’t too low, deep, or soft, as this can cause the person to struggle when getting up, which can lead to injury. If a loved one has trouble standing from a seated position, consider purchasing a powerlift chair that can raise them into a standing position gently.
- Well Maintained Heating and Air Conditioning: Heat and air conditioning are extremely important elements in an older adult’s home. While temperatures don’t drop too low in the Phoenix area, heating systems should still be checked and maintained regularly to ensure comfort and safety during the winter months. Also, as temperatures in our area often soar into the 100s in the summer, it is vital to make sure an older adult’s home has a functioning A/C system.
How Can Home Care Help?
Home care services play a pivotal role in creating and maintaining a safe home for seniors. Nightingale Homecare’s trained caregivers can assist with daily activities, provide companionship, and ensure that the living space remains conducive to overall wellness. From assistance with mobility to medication management, we tailor our services to meet the unique needs of each individual.
Accessibility Modifications: As individuals age, their mobility may change. Our team can help suggest necessary modifications to the home, such as installing ramps or stairlifts, to ensure that older adults can navigate the space safely.
Regular Maintenance: Consistent upkeep of the home is crucial for maintaining a safe living environment. Our caregivers can do regular checks for potential hazards, such as loose handrails or uneven flooring, to prevent accidents. Addressing issues promptly and conducting routine maintenance contribute to the overall safety and well-being of older adults aging in place.
Nightingale Homecare’s in-home care professionals are skilled at assisting with a variety of tasks, including light housekeeping and helping older adults get around safely at home. To learn more about our in-home care services, contact us today at (602) 926-1157 or reach out to us online. Nightingale Homecare offers top-rated senior care services in Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Glendale, and the nearby areas.