As the years go on and as much as we might not like it, our bodies begin to slow down and may not be as capable as they once were. Poor eyesight and decreased mobility can increase your chances of having an accident in the home. Below are our top recommendations for keeping your home safe as you age.
Life At Home As Time Goes On
Do you ever find yourself wondering where the years have gone? One day all your children are running around the house playing games and now they’ve grown up and own a house of their own. Instead of your home being full of your own children as toddlers, you now have grandchildren and possibly even great-grandchildren to take their place.
As we get older, our lifestyle begins to change and so should our homes. A home that was once built to accommodate your family’s needs now has to be altered to accommodate for your needs as you age. Growing old gracefully at home is possible when the proper precautions and steps are taken into consideration.
The Hidden Risks In Every House
It is estimated that about one-third of the population over the age of 65 fall each year in their homes. While burns and accidental poisoning are the second most commonly cited accident that elderly individuals have in the home. As part of the ageing process, it is only natural that the quality of our eyesight will begin to decrease and that our mobility will become more of a physical challenge. Due to this, it is important to educate yourself on the potential hazards in your home.
There are many hidden risks in the home that can increase your chances of having a fall or injuring yourself. For example, the stairs in your home which you could once go up taking two steps at a time may now be too steep or you may find that the cupboard you store food in is no longer as easily accessible.
Loose carpets, slippy flooring and objects laying on the floor can also put you at an increased risk of tripping and potentially causing yourself a serious injury such as a broken hip or worse. As time goes on, the functionality of your home must adapt to grow alongside you.
Practical Tips & Tech To Minimize Them
The good news is there are measures that you can put in place to minimize the hazards evident in your home and increase your house’s accessibility.
Firstly, ensure that all flooring in your home is in good condition and free from cracks, splits and any turned up edges. If you have carpeting or rugs throughout your home, consider taping these to the ground or replace them if there are torn. If you have smooth flooring such as wood or stone, wear non-slip footwear or slippers that have a rubber sole. This will give you a better grip and reduce the risks of falling. Make sure that all objects such as trailing electrical wires, standing light fixtures, plants or decorative items are kept out of the way to make each room mobility friendly.
Keep all of your hallways and staircase landings well lit and have easy-to-use control switches. Consider adding motion sensor lighting both indoors and outdoors to improve visibility, especially at night when your eyesight is compromised and objects may be harder to identify.
It may also be beneficial to invest in an emergency response system. These alarms can be worn around the wrist as a bracelet or around your neck and make it easy to notify both your family members and the emergency services if you have an accident. Having this system in place will provide you with extra peace of mind if a fall does occur and will ensure that help will come immediately.
Advanced Equipment That Makes A Home Safer
There are multiple options for advanced equipment that can be added to your home in order to make it safer and more accessible as you get older.
Installing a stairlift in your home can ensure that your loss of mobility will not take your independence away. This is extremely beneficial for those who rely on using the stairs on a daily basis or for those that suffer from a disability. This type of home help equipment comes in various styles such as a fully seated stairlift consisting of back and foot support or a standing platform.
If you are finding it harder to get around your bathroom, a walk-in tub could be the perfect option for you. These tubs are easy, convenient and reduce any risks of potential slips or falls. The most simple model of a walk-in tub is a soaker tub. This includes a seat, non-slip floors and has an easy access door with steps.
A hydrotherapy shower can be beneficial for those suffering from joint pain, sore muscles and arthritis. These showers use water to improve your blood circulation, relieve pain and encourage relaxation which will help both your physical and mental wellness. Installing a hydrotherapy shower can help you to ensure that your mobility levels stay consistent.
Putting It All Together
Everyone dreams of growing old in their own home and with the right measures in place, this is achievable. It is important that your home grows with you and adapts to your needs as you age in order to prevent accidents. By removing hazards and equipping your home with equipment that promotes safety and accessibility, you can enjoy home comforts for many years to come.