Editor's Note: This post has been updated since it's original posting on January 22, 2014.
As a senior, your safety in your own home should be a top priority for you and your loved ones. However, until you make some modifications, your home could be full of hidden dangers. Accidents, such as falls, could land you in the hospital or a long-term care facility. To avoid these serious consequences, you and your family must work together to make your home safer.
To avoid falls, keep the pathways in your home clear. Some items, such as furniture, are easy to dodge during the day. However, at night, you may not see clearly and could accidentally bump into a misplaced chair or table. Other seemingly innocent items on your floor, such as throw rugs, can also cause you to stumble. Keeping these paths clear will also help you stay balanced if you need to use a cane or walker. You should also keep the paths outside of your home clear. If you live in a snowy climate, consider hiring someone to shovel your sidewalks in the winter. With a clear sidewalk, you'll be less likely to slip and fall.
Insufficient indoor lighting can lead to falls and other accidents, especially at night or on cloudy days. If a light bulb burns out, replace it yourself or ask a loved one to replace it immediately. You can also add some additional lighting to key places. For example, using night lights in your hallways will help you find your way to the bathroom in the dark. Finally, keep a flashlight on your bedside table at all times. If the power goes out, you'll be able to find your way around your home.
If you're constantly pulling a chair or step stool over to reach an item on a shelf, it is time to reorganize your shelves. In your kitchen, place heavy items, such as flour and sugar containers, on the bottom shelves of your cupboards. Any items that you use every day should be left on the countertop. You can also reorganize your bathroom to eliminate extensive reaching for commonly used objects, such as your toothbrush and toothpaste.
To protect yourself from fire, ensure that your smoke detector is fully functional. Have a neighbor or a relative check on your smoke detector each year. You should also get a carbon monoxide detector to protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning. These devices should be placed near the bedrooms in your house. For extra protection against burglars, you can hire a company to install an alarm system in your home.
If you do fall or have another accident, you need to get help immediately. Keep a phone or medical alert system handy so that you can summon help immediately. Sometimes using a phone button might be difficult to use or out of reach.? Most medical alert systems come with a wrist bracelet or neck pendant that you can carry with your at all times.? It allows you to call for help with the push of a button and talk to an expert who can call for right help.
By making the above adjustments to your home, you may avoid falling down or getting injured in your house. A few simple modifications can make a big difference to your safety and go a long way to make your feel comfortable.
Medical Care Alert has three systems, HOME, HOME & YARD, and HOME & AWAY medical alert systems that would help you with making your home a safe haven. Call us today at 1-855-272-1010 to learn more about these three great alert devices for elderly folks.
Want more home safety tips? Check out these helpful guides: