7 Essential Steps to Make the Home Safe for the Elderly

Author

Elderlink Home Care, Inc.

For more information about the author, click to view their website: Elderlink Home Care

Posted on

Apr 09, 2024

Book/Edition

Colorado - Denver Metro

Don’t wait for an accident to happen. If your elderly parent is living alone in their own home, it is important to take steps in advance, to prevent accidents from happening in the first place.  It is wise to access the situation and assist in implementing safety solutions around the home.

Statistics are frightening. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that on average, 1.4 million seniors 65 years of age and older are treated in hospital emergency rooms annually as a result of an accident in the home. Of that age group, the rate of injury is the highest for those 75 years of age and older.

Fortunately, most accidents are preventable. By spotting and addressing these hazards early on, you can prevent potential injuries.

Here’s a home safety guide for seniors to help prevent falls, burns and other household accidents.

7 Ways to Make the Home Safe for Your Elderly Loved One


  1. Place flashlights in several rooms of the house.

Make sure there is flashlight available, that is easy to reach from the bed, coffee table, porch seat and any other dimly-lit area in the house where your loved one likes to spend time – especially at night. With an easy-to-reach flashlight in place, the senior can safely roam around the home, even in the event of a power outage.

Also, keep in mind that stairs, entryways and exteriors should be well-lit at all times. Switches should be easy to reach from doorways.

  1. Install grab bars, ramps and railings in the home as needed.

Many seniors need something to hold on to in order to help maintain their balance. Grab bars are necessities, particularly in the bathroom. Use your judgement to determine which other areas of the home should be equipped with grab bars. Ramps are crucial if your loved one uses a wheelchair or walker occasionally or at all times. If they are still able to use stairs safely, make sure railings are strong enough for them to grab ahold of and use for support.

  1. Maintain a fireproof kitchen.

One of the most important things you can do to fireproof a home is to keep a functioning fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Make sure your loved one knows its location and how to use it properly. Ventilation and exhaust systems should be routinely serviced and maintained. Ensure all smoke alarms are working properly and have fresh batteries inserted. Make sure all potential fire sources (candles, ashtrays, etc.) are away from flammable items, such as blankets, bedding, newspapers, etc. Develop an emergency escape plan with your loved one and go over it with them in detail. Print out a copy and post it on the refrigerator if you feel it is necessary.

  1. Stairs should be evenly constructed, clear of clutter and well-lit.

An evenly built, clear and well-lit staircase with sturdy handrails makes the home safer for the elderly. Serious injuries can occur as a result of an unstable staircase. Never leave clutter on a staircase. Items like shoes or bags left on the stairs can easily lead to a fall resulting in a very serious injury. Consider installing a stair lift if stairs are becoming too difficult or dangerous for your loved one to manage.

  1. Renovate the bathroom with walk-in bathtubs or showers.

Walk-in tubs (watertight tubs with doors) are built for individuals who have difficulty getting in and out of a traditional bathtub. They also help prevent slipping and come in right or left-handed configurations. This allows for seniors to bathe independently and safely. Walk-in showers are also preferred to those that have sliding shower doors.

  1. Program emergency numbers into their cell phone.

Show your loved one how to make calls to these contacts quickly and easily. Helping them navigate the phone and even playing out a hypothetical scenario is helpful. In the event of an emergency, time is of the essence! Getting the most important numbers ready for quick dialing can help save a life!

  1. Rugs and carpets must be level with the ground and pathways should be clear from cords and/or wires. 

A home’s fundamental components can possibly be dangerous for the elderly when basic safety precautions are not taken. Accidents can happen when floors are not flat and uniform, thus increasing the risk of slips and falls. Always make sure pathways are safely walk-able and consider installing slip-resistant surfaces.

There are many things you can do to help keep your loved one safe. This list is just a start and provides some of the most common steps to take. If you like this guide, please share it with someone you know will benefit from it!

While many seniors prefer to live independently, they may need assistance with chores, personal care, keeping up with their medications or simply would appreciate extra companionship during the day.  Elderlink Home Care can help you keep your favorite senior safe.

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Elderlink Home Care, Inc.

Non-Medical 9878 West Belleview Avenue, Littleton, Colorado, 80123

Elderlink Home Care, Inc. has been providing metro-area seniors with access to superior home care services for over 35 years. As a family business, we have spent decades perfecting the art of home care and learning everything we need to know to provide you with the best service possible at the best price available. Our services will allow you to age with dignity and control in the comfort of your own home.