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How to Make Your Home Safer for an Aging Loved One

aging in place

Many seniors prefer to age in place for as long as possible. However, living in the home alone can pose unique challenges. Even if Mom or Dad resists, it’s still important to push forward with a safe and accommodating home. If an accident occurs, your parent may need to be hospitalized. Always be proactive when dealing with safety.

Below are some tips on how to make your parent’s home safe enough to age in place.

Remove Trip Hazards

Each year, roughly 36 million older adults fall, resulting in more than 32,000 deaths. Be sure to remove trip hazards from your parent’s home.

Throw rugs should have non-stick pads underneath or be removed completely.If there’s a change in floor surface (vacuum to carpet), alert your parent by placing down red tape. Also have a designated space for pets to go when your parent is up and moving around.

Install Grab Bars in the Bathroom

Bathrooms are one of the riskiest rooms in the home because of the slippery surfaces and the activities that take place – showering, dressing and using the toilet. Install grab bars in the shower and beside the toilet in case Mom or Dad slips. Rubber mats can help as well.

You may also want to consider a remodel that includes a walk-in shower, handheld showerhead, raised toilet seat and good lighting. While this will be an investment, it’s worth the cost if it can keep your parent home and safe.

Assess the Kitchen for Risks

Seniors spend a lot of time in the kitchen and you want it to be a safe environment. Try to keep items within reach, replace twist-and-turn handles with single-lever handles and provide rubber water faucet covers (they’re easier to turn). Also test all appliances and make sure they’re working properly.

Consider Stair Lift Help

Stairs sure are beautiful in a home, but they’re also a major hazard for seniors, particularly those with Parkinson’s or arthritis. Look into installing a stair lift, make sure the railings are sturdy, put different colored duct tape on each stair (so they don’t blend together) and keep the stairs free of clutter.

Ensure Good Security

Remind your parent not to open the door for strangers. Install a peephole so they can look first. Other safety measures include keeping doors and windows locked, letting your loved one know about potential scams and checking in on them often. Unfortunately, seniors are more likely to be targeted by scammers.

These are just some of the ways you can create a safe home for your aging loved one. If you find that Mom or Dad needs some additional help, you can enlist home care that is personalized to their needs and schedule.

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