As people age, many begin to experience physical changes that often limit mobility and reduce dexterity. Though mobility aids and medications are available to help remedy some of the more frustrating and uncomfortable side effects, many seniors need extra accommodations to move freely. Public spaces aside, seniors should prepare themselves to implement safety tips and modifications to their homes to reduce the risk of costly tumbles.
If you’ve noticed signs of mobility deterioration and are looking for ways to stay protected while moving about your space day-to-day, read on for five helpful safety tips for senior citizens.
Select a mobility aid based on your environment
For seniors who struggle with dexterity and day-to-day maneuvering, selecting a comfortable, easy-to-use mobility aid is a fundamental aspect of home safety. However, determining which aid is suitable for you requires careful consideration to ensure you’re able to navigate your space and nearby environments comfortably.
Start with a thorough home walkthrough, taking note of any potential obstacles, like tight hallways, narrow door frames, or cluttered common areas. Once you’ve surveyed your space, take a look outside your home, considering frequently visited joints or family homes before committing to a mobility aid. For those with ample room, a wheelchair might be the best option. Or, if you’re able, consider an upright walker to tackle tighter spaces with ease.
Remove potential hazards
Once you’ve landed on the appropriate mobility aid, enlist the help of your family or friends and rummage through your home to purge potential hazards. Cluttered surfaces, obstructed walkways, or lifted flooring can all make for an unexpectedly dangerous stroll around your home. Additionally, it may be wise to forgo rugs or replace shaggy carpets if you intend to push a wheeled walker or wheelchair with ease.
Add accessibility modifications to your space
If you’re still concerned after clearing out possible hazards from your space, consider looking into additional accessibility home modifications for added comfort and safety. Though superficial fixes like outside ramps and bathroom guardrails may be enough support for your day-to-day needs, more intensive installations might be necessary. If your mobility limitations are more severe, consider investing in alterations like a stairlift or walk-in tub to reduce everyday risks and increase your independence.
Invest in an emergency alarm system
Though installing accessibility aids and ridding your space of obvious hazards can reduce at-home dangers, no amount of safety measures can eradicate risk entirely. Regardless of safety measures taken, wet, slippery floors and unexpectedly loose floorboards can trip you up out of nowhere. Unfortunately, falls can be costly for older adults with underlying physical conditions, which is why investing in a medical alert emergency system is critical for many seniors.
Many emergency alert systems come equipped with easy-to-use camera set-ups, call buttons for accidents, and responsive customer service ready to act at a moment’s notice. That way, if you find yourself unexpectedly injured or in need of medical assistance, you’ll have quick access to necessary emergency services.
Clearly label and organize medications
An often overlooked safety measure that can lead to severe health complications is medicinal organization. Many elderly folks—particularly those with compounded medical conditions—take daily medications to help alleviate uncomfortable symptoms and manage diagnosed ailments.
However, prescription meds can quickly become dangerous when guidelines and dosages are disregarded. To avoid disastrous mix-ups, you should clearly label medication bottles and carefully read physician instructions. You can even take it one step further by purchasing a weekly pill organizer to help with tracking and accidental double dosages.
When it comes to home safety for seniors, having a clear understanding of individual accessibility needs and necessary accommodations is critical. That way, you can navigate your home safely, without the constant fear of dangerous accidents.