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Home Safety for Independent Seniors

by Amy September 26, 2016

senior home safety
While there are various retirement homes and options for assisted living, many senior citizens prefer to remain in their homes. Seniors have the ability to live in their homes until a much later age with the help of personal medical alert systems. By receiving assistance at the push of a button, seniors can remain independent, but connected to the appropriate emergency response contacts. In addition to personal security systems, it is important that senior homes are safely equipped to accommodate aging needs to allow for a safe and independent lifestyle.

Useful tips for senior safety around the house:

In the Kitchen:
• Rearrange cabinet contents so that reaching and bending is limited
• Replace cabinet knobs with handles for easier access
• Purchase a refrigerator with a lower freezer
• Elevate the front of the refrigerator so that the doors will swing closed
• Install swivel plates in the bottom of corner cabinets to make for easier access
• Use the microwave before using the oven whenever possible to avoid burns, but not if a pacemaker is used
• Use a faucet with one level that can balance water temperatures
• Ensure the temperature on your water heater is set to 120 degrees
• Use an electric teakettle over a stovetop option. The best model has an automatic shutoff feature
• Ensure to check expiration dates on food often

In the Bedroom:
• Install bed railings to make it easier to get in and out of bed
• Check smoke detectors regularly
• Keep a flashlight near the bed for easy access
• Install motion detector lights near the bed side floor
• Keep a chair in the bedroom to use for assisting in getting dressed
• Keep the floor area of the bedroom clear and avoid the use of throw rugs
• Consider using a medical alert system

In the Bathroom:

• Elevate toilet seats to make getting up and down easier
• Install a grab bar next to the toilet, shower, and tub to help getting up and down
• Install a medical alert button near the shower
• Replace knobs on faucets with handles that are labeled hot and cold
• Install power outlets on a level that is easily accessible
• Use a night light in the bathroom
• Remove door locks from the bathroom door in order to make it easier for a loved one to assist if needed
• Redesign the bathroom to have a walk in tub or shower. Installing a seat within the shower is an important safety feature
• Install non-skid strips onto the shower floor

In the Living Room:

• Use carpeting rather than hardwood floors to provide better traction
• Remove items from the floor used for decoration like plants, baskets, and footstools
• Replace chairs that have wheels
• Ensure that all power cords are moved out of the way and lamps are placed in areas they cannot be tripped on

Home and Recreational Safety:
• Replace the front door knob with a lever handle
• Make sure flashlights are always easily available
• Always wear shoes that fit properly and have a low heel
• Reinforce stairway railings and install more hand holding railings throughout the house
• Have canes or walkers present if necessary
• Keep smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on every floor
• Keep important items at waist level and ensure to avoid standing on chairs or ladders
• Salt the driveway and walkways during the winter
• Be cautious of identity theft
• Be aware of medication side effects

It is very possible for senior citizens to maintain their independence and live on their own, but it is essential that their houses are reinforced with safety precautions. These tips are provided by A Place for Mom. For information on My Alarm Center’s personal emergency response system visit our site or contact us today.