Simple steps to make a home safer for the elderly

A few simple steps can make a home much safer for an elderly person who wants to age in place.

Falls are the biggest cause of injuries in people over 65. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control says that 1 out of 3 people over 65 will fall each year. Falls result in injuries and even deaths. For many, a drastic fall spells the end of their independence and puts a big strain on their health. Avoiding falls is very important for ensuring a long and happy life.

Stairlifts prevent falls, even on short flights of stairs
Creative Commons License photo credit: tico24

Some of the ways of avoiding falls are expensive. For example, installing a stairlift on a staircase will make it easier to avoid falling on the stairs.

But there are inexpensive solutions, too. One of the best? Remove all throw rugs. According to an article by the Associated Press, removing throw rugs is the single most important thing you can do to reduce falls, particularly in the bathroom.

Here are a few more inexpensive tips from that same article.

  • make sure all carpeting is secure and flat
  • add non-skid adhesive in the tub. Use a plastic shower chair. Raised toilet seats also help
  • Add handrails in trouble areas
  • Don’t wax your kitchen floor
  • Watch out for high thresholds in doorways
  • Don’t leave clutter on the floor!

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