Caregiving Tips for Making Seniors’ Homes Safer This Coming National Older Americans Month

Every May is National Older Americans Month. Since 1963, it has been a time to celebrate seniors across the country. This month recognizes the countless contributions they have made to society and in the lives of others. The month-long celebration also calls for communities and family members of older adults to give back to them. This year, as we approach National Older Americans Month, we encourage you to consider taking the time to make their homes safer.

The older an aging loved one becomes, the more his or her balance or physical strength may diminish. To further complicate matters, his or her cognitive abilities may also decline. A cluttered, outdated home can make him or her more prone to falling, and forgetfulness could lead to other problems, such as leaving the stove on.

Did you know that you can take steps in advance to alleviate these risks with some proactive measures? Let us share a few tips to consider:

  • Repair any loose carpeting and raised flooring
  • Put additional lighting throughout the home, including plug-in nightlights
  • Switch-out door knobs for lever-handles
  • Organize or get rid of messy electric cords
  • Remove locks from bedroom and bathroom doors

Making kitchen modifications can also be helpful. One easy kitchen fix is to configure refrigerator shelving to prominently display frequently used food and beverage items. Certain newer stoves and ovens come with automatic turn-off features that are perfect for seniors, and especially for those who may likely face dementia.

Safety-proofing bathrooms is another way to reduce accidents, as tight bathroom spaces and slippery surfaces can be dangerous. Consider installing senior care items such as shower rails and toilet grab bars. Other safety measures could include placing adhesive friction pads on shower floors, obtaining a medically approved bathing chair, and lowering the hot water thermostat to avoid potential scalding.

Additional senior-care home safety activities could include:

  • Installing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
  • Removing small and low furniture
  • Eliminating throw rugs
  • Applying non-slip wax to floors

In all instances, consider working with a senior friendly contractor or handyman who can help you and your loved ones make these modifications. This trained professional may also be able to make recommendations based specifically on your loved ones home. Always make sure to seek referrals from credible sources or elder care organizations when contacting businesses for home repairs. If necessary, assist your family member when signing contracts, and make sure to monitor all repair work.

National Older Americans Month is an opportunity to support senior loved ones. We encourage you to plan in advance for actual and potential elder care needs, and not wait to obtain the guidance you need. If this article raises more questions than it answers, do not wait to contact us to obtain the guidance you need.

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