As an older adult, your home should be a safe and familiar environment where you can live out the remainder of your days with dignity and independence. Sadly, millions of Americans aged 65+ get injured in accidents that occur in their private residences. Poor eyesight and hearing, along with arthritis, dementia, and elder abuse, can make the home a dangerous place for the average senior. Read on to learn more about potential safety hazards and how to create a safer home environment even if you live alone.
Falls are the leading cause of injury among adults aged 65+, while most fall-related accidents occur in the victim’s home. Age-related changes such as declining hearing and vision, bone density loss, and balance issues can all place independent seniors at risk.
Take these precautions to avoid falls:
- Ensure that all areas of the home are well-lit, notably above stairways.
- Remove trip-and-fall hazards such as clutter, electric cords, rugs, and small furniture from pathways.
- Exercise regularly to improve your balance and strength.
- Install handrails near bathing and toileting areas and along stairways.
- Place no-slip strips or non-skid mats on tile or wood surfaces that may get wet.
- Wear non-slip footwear on smooth surfaces and clean up spills when they happen.
- Use a cane or walker instead of holding onto furniture or walls.
Fires are a risk in any senior’s home, notably ones where oxygen is in use. Here’s how to reduce your fire risk:
- Place smoke detectors with fresh batteries around the home.
- Never let unattended candles or fires burn.
- Avoid smoking or open flames near oxygen tanks.
- Keep an operational fire extinguisher on every floor.
- Check appliances for frayed power cords.
- Leave at least three feet between heaters and anything flammable.
This home safety issue most often impacts seniors who take a lot of different medications. Here’s how to avoid becoming an accidental poisoning statistic:
- Install high-quality carbon monoxide detectors near sleeping areas.
- Never heat your home with a stove or oven.
- Have your furnace inspected every autumn by a certified HVAC technician.
- Do not mix cleaning products that contain bleach or ammonia.
- Keep medications labeled and organized in their original containers.
- Only use medications as directed.
Elder Abuse and Crime
Older adults are more vulnerable to wrongdoers, even in their own homes. Sadly, many financial fraudsters that target the elderly are related to them. Here’s how to keep criminals from targeting your retirement nest egg:
- Never invite a stranger into your home.
- Be leery of relatives that ask you for money.
- Never open unsolicited emails on your computer.
- Store financial documents in a safe place.
- Ensure all doors and windows have locks.
According to a 2021 report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, product-related injuries send roughly three million elderly Americans to hospital emergency departments each year. Some lose their independence permanently as a result of their injuries. These are some ways to reduce your risk of getting injured while using a consumer product:
- Be sure items stored in the home are up-to-date and that they do not pose hazards.
- Check for recalls on products.
- Address any issues posed by products that commonly cause injuries, such as stairs, ramps, floors, furniture, stepstools, ladders, exercise equipment, bathtubs, showers, desks, shelving, clothing, etc.
Final Thoughts About Home Safety
If you’re still concerned about aging in place safely and comfortably, another option you have is hiring a “personal assistant” to help around the home. A professional caregiver from a reputable home care provider will have the required training and experience, allowing you to focus on living out the remainder of your days with dignity and independence!
Your Premier Home Care Source in Naples, FL
Finding a home care provider that you can trust isn’t always easy. Put your mind at ease by contacting the caring professionals from Home Instead® Senior Care. Conveniently available in Naples, Fort Myers, and Charlotte County, FL, our senior care services help to enhance the aging experience by providing practical support at home delivered with a human touch.
Our reliable in-home solutions help aging adults stay engaged in everyday life with tailor-made support to stay safe and well at home. At Home Instead, it is always our mission to provide a care plan personalized to your family’s needs – bringing you all comfort, companionship, and peace of mind. To learn more or schedule a time to talk with one of our home care specialists, please visit us at www.homeinsteadswfl.com.