5 Tips for Improving the Safety of Residential Environments for Seniors
Do you have a senior citizen living in your house? Or perhaps you’re taking care of your parents in their old age instead of seeing them off to an old folk’s home. Whichever the case, you should know that seniors can be quite delicate, and the residential environment where they may have grown old in or have gotten accustomed to through the years may now pose a risk to their long-term well-being. In fact, such an environment may even present distinct risks to their safety.
Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be the case. There are certain steps that you can carry out to increase the safety of your beloved senior’s living spaces. The following is a list of the most important and actionable steps you can take.
Ensure that prompt medical care is easily accessible at all times
One of the best ways to make a senior’s home safer is by ensuring that you—and they—have quick and easy access to prompt medical care, no matter the time of day. Besides being able to summon emergency services, having a doctor on call 24/7 also helps allay worries and fears that a senior may have about their health, as well as give them the ability to keep tabs on any pre-existing conditions they may have.
For this, it’s best to rely on an after hours GP deputising service provider. Such providers employ a number of doctors and other qualified medical practitioners who can travel directly to your location in Perth no matter the time of day. Upon reaching the senior’s home, they will not only perform assistance and diagnosis, they can also administer treatment right then and there. They’ll also leave an overnight supply of basic medications, if needed.
What’s more, these doctor home visits are usually bulk-billed, which means that the senior’s Medicare is billed fully for the cost. In short, you or the senior being treated won’t have to worry about money, so long as the patient has a valid Medicare or DVA card.
Make stairs safer, or install a stair lift
Stairs can pose a huge risk for seniors, especially those that have mobility problems. Minimise the falling risk that stairs present by ensuring that adequate and sturdy safety railings are installed, and that the entire flight is well-illuminated. If the senior is finding it incredibly hard to navigate the stairs daily, then a stair lift should be installed.
Minimise the presence of cords
Cords are an active tripping hazard and could result in the senior having a hard fall. Eliminate their presence by securing or taping them flat to walls or corners. If possible, replace corded phones or gadgets with cordless or wireless versions.
Install traction aids and safety railings in the bathroom
Another area that can be made safer for seniors is the bathroom, especially since this place tends to be always wet and thus presents a slipping hazard. To do this, have grab bars installed in the walls adjacent to the shower, bathtub, and both sides of the toilet. For added traction and to avoid slipping, place non-slip or water-absorbent mats on the floor. This will give the senior enough traction to navigate the bathroom safely.
Finally, you can also install motion detectors that will automatically turn the lights on whenever someone enters. This prevents any fumbling in the dark that may also result in a slip or fall.
Equip the senior with a medical alert system
In case the senior is living on their own or with another senior, it’s best to consider installing a medical alert system in the house. Such a system lets the senior summon emergency medical services in the event that they cannot call for help or reach a phone, such as during a heart attack, stroke, or a hard fall.
Residential environment safety is critical for senior health
Even if the senior is intimately familiar with their residential environment, the fact of the matter is that their old age can make certain elements within their home a clear and present risk to themselves. Take heed of the steps listed above, and you can be sure that your senior’s home will be much safer and more conducive to keeping them healthy and happy.
Maria Reyes a freelance writer and all-around beauty nut. She loves analyzing and exploring new things. She also spends her free time surfing, traveling to Asia and South America, and volunteering in community outreach programs.