Whether they will be staying with you, or living separately in their own accommodation, here are a few things to keep in mind that will help.
1. Reduce Fall Traps
- Most senior citizen injuries happen as a result of a fall. To help reduce the chances of an accidental tripping and falling situation, remove as many things as possible from the floor that could lead to a tripping incident.
- Some of the most common things that could lead to clutter and cause a fall are cords, books or newspapers lying on the floor, show items and corner tables that jut out, low stools, or even a small staircase.
2. Adequate Lighting
- It is important to have good lighting around the house, so that the elderly can see where they are stepping. If required, change the fittings and add more powerful bulbs.
- Make sure the corners and all stairwells are well-lighted, as well as passageways, bathrooms and other areas where there is a chance of bumping into something or tripping. If possible, go for motion sensor lights that can sense movement and switch on automatically.
3. Easier Fittings
- Older people may find it difficult to work with modern fittings, such as complex doorknobs and such. To keep it simple and make it easier to operate, even for those who may have arthritis or stiffness, replace very modern accessories with simpler but functional ones.
- Check for the faucets and fittings in bathrooms, doors, drawers and such. Make sure that the knobs, locks and handles on the main door are such that it is secure, but easy for them to open and close, even while in a rush.
4. Kitchen Access
- Whether they are staying with you or in their own space, the kitchen is one place where the senior citizens should have easy and unrestricted access, to prevent any chance of a mishap.
- Pull-out drawers, such as the ones that are part of modular kitchens, or even the standalone ones, are great in terms of access. The knobs should be easy to grip and pull out. If required, add the drawer safety gears so that there is no accidental injury due to sudden finger catches.
5. Bathroom Safety
- Another very high accident prone area is the bathroom, where chances of a fall or other injuries are really high. To make sure that your elderly loved one is safe, place non-skid mats on the bathroom and right outside to avoid slips and falls. If there is a bathtub, place a non-skid mat inside it as well. Check the various faucets and replace with ones that are easy to operate.
- Instead of having very modern shower heads and hand-held shower taps, go for ones that your loved one can use even if seated. If possible, attach rails or handles on the sides of the toilet seat to help with any balance issues.
And even as you check on these above safety measures, make sure there is a safe latch on the door, and if possible has a security alarm installed, especially if your elderly loved one lives alone.