Home Safety Checklists for Seniors

Home Safety Checklists for Seniors

For most individuals, there will come a time when they need to ensure their home remains a safe environment to live. Usually, the requirements to make a house safer comes as individuals age. From mobility problems to medications that increase a person’s falls risk, multiple factors introduce the need to start taking steps to make you or your relative’s property safer. Fortunately, with a home safety checklist for seniors, you can ease any worries you have about unnecessary accidents.

Eliminating trip hazards

According to the National Council on Aging, those over the age of 65 are more likely to encounter a fall. While some falls may come from conditions such as Meniere’s Disease or blood pressure medications, others arise because of trip hazards.

Such trip hazards can include:

• Loose carpeting
• Rugs
• Dressing gowns that are too long
• Clutter
• Pets

When you’re making your home safer to live in, it’s useful to move around the house and identify potential trip hazards. Try eliminating them room by room to reduce the risk of mechanical falls.

Tackling mobility challenges

From post-operative recovery periods to musculoskeletal conditions, as we age, many aspects of the aging process present extra mobility challenges. Some of the difficulties you or a loved one might encounter include:

• Inability to lower and raise yourself from the bathtub
• Difficulty climbing the stairs
• Finding that your ability to grip cans and tins is a struggle

Fortunately, for each of the above challenges, you can introduce a simple solution:

• Try installing grip bars that make it easier to climb out of the bath
• Install a stair lift that makes it easier to move between different floors of the home
• Look into purchasing devices that automatically open cans and jars, which will limit the need for outside help.

Again, assessing difficulties according to each person is the best way to help create a safe and comforting environment.

Addressing problems with lighting

If you are unable to see properly, or there is a glare that obstructs your view, you’re more likely to encounter a fall or bump into a hard surface. While crashing into a hard object might not present difficulties for most people, when you have a condition such as osteoporosis, you may end up with a fracture that reduces your mobility further.

Some problems with lighting that you and your relatives may want to tackle include:

• Whether there’s adequate lighting when you need to get up at night to use the bathroom
• If any glares could obstruct your view, such as the sun coming through the window.
• If it’s possible to reach for the light switches when you need to
Again, tackling some of the above safety issues is surprisingly simple. For example:
• Could you start installing blinds that reduce sunlight glares?
• Could you benefit from automatic lights that switch on when you need to use the bathroom at night?
• Are you able to move lights such as lamps so you can switch them on and off with ease?
Making such changes usually costs very little. And, it can reduce the likelihood of unnecessary accidents.

Reducing clutter wherever possible

Over the years, most people accumulate items and keepsakes that act as a reminder of cherished memories. However, when these items result in unnecessary clutter, they increase the chances of falling an hurting yourself.

Some common household areas where clutter might accumulate include:
• Garages
• Basements
• Kitchens
• Other utility areas

Naturally, it isn’t necessary to remove every item. However, it is worth taking the following steps to minimize clutter:

• Determine whether each item is useful or a necessity
• Dispose of unnecessary items accordingly
• Find appropriate spaces to store necessary things where they won’t pose a risk

When creating a safety checklist for any senior’s home, always tailor it to the individual. Take their unique needs and conditions into account, then create an environment that’s comfier and safer to live.