85% of seniors have done nothing to prepare their home for aging, according to recent research conducted by Home Instead, which provides a compelling look at senior home safety. The survey of ER doctors, seniors and adult children reveals that home isn’t always the safe haven that seniors and their loved ones dream about.
What are the most unsafe areas of the home for seniors? Bathrooms and bedrooms lead the way, followed by the kitchen and stairs. Falls are the most common home accidents for older adults.
Adult children are advised to to take one day each year to perform a safety check of their aging parents’ homes. A room-by-room check can make all the difference in keeping seniors safe and independent at home.
Some actions you will want to take to make your aging parent or loved ones home safer are:
• Remove throw rugs in the kitchen, especially in front of the stove
• Motion sensor lights are needed outside approaching all exterior doors, that come on automatically
• Higher toilets are very helpful
• Handrails by every set of stairs, even if there are only two steps. (both outside and inside the house)
• No ladders in the house to tempt seniors to climb up to get something
• Safety hand rails in the shower and tub areas.
• Any senior who lives alone should speak to someone every single day. Neighbors should be asked to look out for their older neighbors. Coordinate a communication plan
• Checking that medicines are up to date and not expired
If your aging parent is set on staying at home, having additional help around the house can be very helpful. An estimated 97% of ER doctors report that not having help at home with activities of daily living is a very serious risk factor for accidents or injuries at home.