Whether you have an older relative who is keen to stay in their own home for as long as possible, or you have one moving in with you rather than to an aged care facility, one of the key factors you need to consider is how to keep them safe at home.
We covered some important tips in a RECENT POST ON HELPING OLDER RELATIVES STAY IN THEIR HOMES, so we though this would be a good opportunity to look beyond that post to focus on ways to keep older relatives safe at home, particularly when the elderly are particularly in danger of accidents within the home.
Here’s a few ideas on ways to enhance a safe home environment for the elderly.
Living space: Pay close attention to loose rugs and other tripping hazards, sharp edges on furniture, low seating that may be difficult to get out of, and sufficient light for those with failing eyesight.
Kitchen: As the central point in many homes, you need to consider easy access to all those needed appliances and cooking facilities, cupboards that open easily, floor surfaces that are not a slip hazard and appliances that turn off automatically if forgotten.
Bedroom: Two important ingredients to consider are the height of the bed for those who may struggle to get in and out, and easy access to the phone should an urgent call for help be needed.
Bathroom: Watch out for slippery tiles, particularly when wet, baths and shower recesses that can be difficult to get in and out of. Also consider the strategic placement of handrails, and adjustable shower heads so the elderly can wash whilst sitting if preferred.
Hallways: Last but not least, simply getting inside the home, and then getting around it smoothly, can be an issue for the elderly…particularly if wheelchair access is going to be needed. Hallway widths need to be considered, as does keeping floors on one level and considering rails where necessary.
Of course, for some families, alterations like this these are not a practical option, which may necessitate the sale of the property. If you find yourself in this position, the most important step you can take is to a trusted, objective Advocate who can take care of all the details rather than requiring an elderly family member to deal with the stresses of a sale.
You’ll find many more tips on keeping safe whilst selling in our booklet, “FATAL REAL ESTATE TRAPS EXPOSED”. Feel free to download a copy while you’re here.