Home Safety Tips for Seniors: What You Can Do to Make Your Home Safe

A younger Black woman hugs an older Black woman. They smile and look ahead. They are in a clean room that is modified to be safer for seniors.

At St. Andrew's, we understand the paramount importance of creating a safe and nurturing environment for older people. If you are an older adult still living in your own home or you are caring for a loved one personally, it is natural to be concerned about safety and finding ways to mitigate risks.

Here are eight home safety tips that can help you ensure a secure living space for senior family members.

1. Install Grab Bars and Handrails

Falls are the leading cause of injury among older Americans aged 65 and older and account for more than 30,000 deaths each year. To aid in fall prevention, consider installing grab bars and handrails in key areas of the home, such as bathrooms, stairways, and hallways. These additions provide much-needed support and balance for seniors.

2. Provide Adequate Lighting

Good lighting is crucial for senior safety. Make sure that hallways, staircases, and frequently used areas are well-lit. Night lights and brighter light bulbs can help reduce the risk of falling, especially during nighttime bathroom visits.

3. Remove Tripping Hazards

Check for potential fall hazards, such as paper, clothing, shoes, throw rugs, area rugs, and electrical cords. Consider securing these items to the floor with double-sided tape or removing them altogether to create a clear and safe pathway.

4. Add Non-Slip Mats

Add non-slip mats to areas where slipping is common, such as the bathroom, kitchen, and the entrance to the home. These mats can help prevent accidents on wet surfaces.

5. Check Smoke Detectors

Ensure that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. Consider placing a fire extinguisher in a convenient location.

6. Ensure Easy Access to Emergency Numbers

Ensure that your loved one has easy access to important phone numbers, including their healthcare provider, poison control, and local emergency numbers. Having a cell phone readily available is also important for communication.

7. Have a Medical Alert System

Consider a medical alert system that your loved one can wear as a necklace or bracelet. This system allows them to call for help in case of an emergency.

8. Install a Full Home Security System

Investing in a home security system can provide peace of mind for both you and your loved one. These systems often include emergency contact options and can be connected to medical alert systems for added safety.

Home Safety Modifications By Room:

General Modifications for Any Living Space

  • Lower light switches and doorknobs
  • Repair or replace damaged flooring, carpet, steps, stairs, and other potential hazards.
  • Replace doorway thresholds with zero-threshold entries or use threshold ramps.
  • Install dusk-to-dawn nightlights throughout for greater visibility at night.
  • Keep a flashlight in each room in case the power goes out.
  • Put nonskid treads on steps.

Kitchen Safety

  • Keep items used most often on lower, easier-to-reach shelves.
  • Add step stools for easy access to high shelves.
  • Place an ABC-rated fire extinguisher in an easy-to-reach location.
  • Install task lights over the sink, stove, countertops, and other work areas.

Bedroom Safety

  • Tighten or install handrails on both sides of stairways/steps.
  • Clear a wide path by moving or getting rid of furniture and other clutter.
  • Place a lamp or light switch within easy reach of the bed.
  • Buy a high, raised platform bed.

Bathroom Safety

  • Install grab bars inside the tub/shower.
  • Add a walk-in bath or shower seat with a handheld showerhead for easy entry/ exit.
  • Use non-slip bath mats or strips in the bathtub and on shower floors.
  • Install comfort-height toilets or toilet seat risers with grab bars.
  • Install a raised toilet seat to make sitting and standing easier.

Why Consider Senior Living at St. Andrew's

While these home safety tips are essential for ensuring the well-being of your loved one, it's worth considering the high expenses and potential limitations of making a home senior-friendly. Home modifications, security systems, and ongoing maintenance can add up, and the cost of 24/7 home care for your loved one can be substantial.

At St. Andrew's, we provide comprehensive senior care in a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment. Our senior living community offers a range of services, including assisted living, memory care, and more, designed to meet the unique needs of older adults. With our dedicated caregivers, extensive amenities, and expertly designed facilities, you can have peace of mind knowing that your loved one is in good hands and will stay safe for years to come.

Schedule a Tour

By choosing St. Andrew's, you're not just ensuring your loved one's safety but also their comfort and quality of life. Our pet-friendly, compassionate community is here to support your family as you navigate important decisions about your loved one's future. Learn more about our senior living options by visiting our website, and discover the advantages of entrusting your loved one's care to St. Andrew's, where their well-being is our top priority.

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