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Aging is inevitable, and it comes with various health issues. This, in turn, can make it hard for seniors to continue living independently. While there’s always the option of senior care facilities, this doesn’t work for everyone. On the one hand, it might be too expensive. On the other hand, you might want to keep your loved ones close. So, the other option would be to move them in with you. Of course, this entails upsizing since you’ll need more room. And it would help if you also thought of ways to make your new home senior-friendly because seniors are prone to accidents and might require mobility products. So, here’s a guide on how to make your new home safe for seniors.

 

No. 1 The first step in how to make your home safe for seniors is to avoid dangerous flooring

One of the main causes of home accidents involving seniors is dangerous flooring. When you have poor mobility, trips, slips, and falls occur frequently. Therefore, to avoid this, you have to make sure that your floors are safe. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Remove or secure the rugs. Since rugs represent a tripping hazard, it might be a good idea to remove them altogether. However, if you’re not ready to give them up, you can place anti-slip mats or grip tape underneath them.
  • Pay attention to slippery floors. The floor tiles in the kitchen and bathroom are frequently wet. And this represents a great slipping hazard for seniors. Therefore, you should install anti-slip tiles to ensure safety.

Two wet floor signs and a bucket

An important step in how to make your new home safe for seniors is to avoid slippery floors.

 

  • Secure all the cables. Cables also represent a tripping hazard. Therefore you should secure them using floor cord covers or baseboards.
  • Remove the thresholds. Any uneven floor area can cause a senior to trip and fall. Therefore, thresholds should also be removed to ensure safe movement.

 

No. 2 Think about the furniture

Since seniors are prone to trips and fallings, you should ensure they have clear paths around the house. This means you should arrange the furniture in a way that doesn’t create obstacles. So, it’s best to stick with the essentials. And make sure you know all the techniques for staying safe while moving furniture to avoid injuring yourself.

A clear path from the kitchen to the dining room and only a few pieces of furniture.

To make your home safe for seniors, you should stick with essential furnishings and create clear paths.

 

Furthermore, to help the elderly settle into their new home, you should make them feel comfortable. Therefore, the furniture you choose shouldn’t be too tall or too low. This makes it harder to sit down and get up or to bend down or reach up. So, try to avoid things like tall chairs and very low sofas. And when it comes to the bed, you should make sure that the senior’s feet reach the floor in a sitting position.

 

No. 3 Make sure there’s enough light

A key step in how to make your new home safe for seniors is to provide proper lighting. Visual impairment is a common issue for seniors. Therefore, your new home has to be well lit to prevent accidents. So, assess every area of the house during the day and at night. This way, you’ll identify the areas that require more light. You can even install motion sensor lights to facilitate the senior’s movement around the house.

During the day, it’s also essential to have a lot of natural light. This doesn’t just prevent accidents; it also improves one’s mood. After all, nobody enjoys spending time in a dark and gloomy place. So make sure your new home has large windows and sheer curtains that let the light in. You can even consider losing the curtains altogether so that the elderly can enjoy the view as well.

A bedroom with a large window that lets a lot of natural light in.

To prevent accidents and improve the senior’s mood, make sure you let a lot of natural light in.

 

No. 4 Make the bathroom safe

Unfortunately, many accidents involving seniors occur in the bathroom. And it’s no wonder with all those wet and slippery surfaces. Therefore, improving bathroom safety is essential. And since you’re moving into a new home, now is the best time for a bathroom remodel. Just don’t forget to factor in the senior’s future needs, not only the present ones. For example, they might require a wheelchair in the future, so you should design the bathroom accordingly. 

Now, apart from the previously mentioned anti-slip tiles, you have additional options:

  1. You should install grab bars next to the toilet to facilitate sitting down and standing up. These are also great for the bathtub and shower to provide additional support.
  2. It would help if you considered installing a walk-in shower or tub. This way, the seniors don’t have to raise their legs to get in.
  3. You can invest in a shower bench so the elderly won’t have to stand for long periods.

 

No. 5 Consider investing in medical alert systems

The truth is that accidents can occur even if you take all the precautions. And the biggest fear is that you won’t be home when it happens. So, for your peace of mind, you should invest in medical alert systems. And there’s a wide range of products out there. Some devices include a help button that puts the senior in touch with an emergency response unit. And there are even some devices that send alarms automatically if they detect falls.

 

Help them settle into their new home

After living on their own in the same house for many years, seniors can have a hard time adjusting to their new home. Therefore, you should make them feel at home quickly. A great way to help seniors deal with homesickness is to surround them with familiar items. Decorate your new home with some of their belongings to make them feel they belong. You should also frame some family photos and even organize a family gathering. All of this will help them adjust more easily.

 

Final thoughts

Getting old is hard on everyone. And when it comes to your loved ones, you want to do everything in your power to keep them safe. Therefore, if you decide that the best option is to move them in with you, use this guide on how to make your new home safe for seniors. Nevertheless, be advised that these measures don’t eliminate the risk of accidents; they only reduce it. So, you shouldn’t blame yourself in case an accident occurs. In the end, there’s only so much you can do.

Burlington Health Care, Northern Kentucky’s Home Health Supply Store, has all of the Incontinence products to address your needs. As Northern Kentucky’s healthcare supply provider, our professionals will make sure you and your family have the knowledge and supplies you need to manage any and all medical challenges you encounter. Visit our website at https://bhc-ky.com/ or stop in today and speak with one of our helpful staff members.

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