Many people prefer to stay in their homes as they age but, in order to do so safely, proper measures need to put into place. In this article we’ll discuss some ways to improve home safety as we age.
Balance Changes As We Age
As we age, we have different abilities and needs than when we were younger. Our muscles can become weaker with age which changes our ability to stay balanced as we stand and walk. Below are ways to help improve our balance:
- Daily exercise
- Participating in a functional strength program
- Ti Chi
Vision Changes As We Age
As we age our peripheral vision becomes more limited and therefore we have vision that resembles looking through a scuba mask.
Hearing Changes As We Age
Hearing loss can be a challenge where it becomes more difficult to discern what it is we are hearing, the origin of the sound and we need an increased volume to be able to hear.
Memory Changes As We Age
We may forget appointments more often and forget that we have the stove turned on. Older people are able to learn and pay attention, but as we age we often need less distractions to do so. Often we also need more prompts and cues as we age, like using calendars and reminders.
Home Safety Tips For Elderly
Below are some home safety tips to consider as we age:
Entrances and exits – should be level and free of tripping hazards. Steps can become an issue as well as curbs, thresholds and welcome mats. Be sure that you are still able to manage keys, door knobs, door bells, mailboxes and peep holes. The new video cameras can be used to see who is at the front door without having to open the door or look through a peep hole.
Interior stairs and hallways – Notice the width of hallways in case a wheelchair is needed, see if is it necessary to have rails to hold onto.
Bathrooms – Are you still able to manage the knobs, controls and is the depth of the sink and bath still workable for you? Does it take stepping up to get into the bath or shower and would it be helpful to install hand rails or a shower chair?
Kitchen – Is this wheelchair accessible? Are the height of the sink, counters, cabinets and pantry still accessible or do modifications need to be made? Are you able to reach above and below to utilize the storage spaces? Is the hot water heater adjusted to a temperature that is safe? Is there adequate lighting and is the stove easy to manage?
Living room, bedrooms and dining – Can you get into and out of chairs, beds, sofas easily or do you need something to help you balance? Is the height of your furniture still manageable? Are there tripping hazards and can you move around safely? Is the lighting adequate and are you still able to turn on and off the TV, plug in the computer and charge your devices or are there modifications that need to be made?
Above are a few things to consider when thinking about the safety of your home and the safety of continuing to live there. Orchard at Brookhaven can be a resource to helping you determine whether it is safe to stay in your home. Contact us for more information.