Whether you age in place in your home or live in an assisted living apartment at Bethesda Gardens Monument, creating a safe environment helps you feel comfortable in your own home. Many safety hazards can be found inside your home, from rugs that cause a fall to slippery bathroom surfaces. Protecting yourself against external threats, such as burglaries, is also important, especially if you live in a home alone. Use these tips to help you stay safer as a senior no matter where you live.
When setting up your space, think about potential tripping hazards. Area rugs look nice, but they can shift under your feet or cause you to trip, which becomes a fall hazard. If you have an area rug, use a nonslip rug pad underneath it to keep it from moving. Electrical cords are also a potential tripping hazard. Keep cords against walls or behind furniture, and never run them across walkways. Avoid letting clutter build up on your floors or near walkways.
Your furniture layout is another consideration. Give yourself a wide walkway so you don't catch your foot on the corner of furniture and trip. Wide walkways are also important if you use a walker or wheelchair to make it easier to navigate your home.
Bathrooms are often dangerous for older adults, especially those with limited mobility. Slick floors and tubs can cause you to fall. It can also be challenging to climb into a traditional tub. Sitting and standing are often difficult as you get older, which can present issues when you sit on the toilet or want to take a bath.
If you own your home, consider installing a walk-in shower with a shower seat if you have mobility issues. Adding a nonslip mat in your bathtub can minimize slipping. You can often add a shower seat to your existing shower if you want to sit while you take a shower. Grab bars in the shower and near the toilet give you extra support in the bathroom. You can also install raised toilet seats to make going to the bathroom easier.
Having lots of lighting can make your home safer. It helps you see what's around you and can prevent tripping. Installing night lights in your home makes it easier to get around at night. Placing them in your bedroom, bathroom and hallways lights up areas where you often walk when it's dark. If you don't want night lights glowing all the time, you can get small, dim motion-sensor lights that turn on when you walk near them.
Smart home gadgets can improve your safety as a senior no matter where you live. Security cameras offer a way to monitor your home. You can set them up outside if you own your home. You can also set up cameras inside your home.
Voice-activated assistant devices, such as Alexa and Google Assistant, can handle tasks for you. This offers convenience if you have limited mobility. You can use it to control smart lights, make lists, turn on music and do lots of other tasks.
Alert devices can also improve your safety. You can get pendants and other devices that let you call for help if you can't get to your phone. Fall detectors can also get help for you automatically if you can't call for help yourself.
No matter where you live, keeping your doors and windows secure is another easy way to keep yourself safe. Ensure your windows are always locked if you don't have them open to let in fresh air. It's a good idea to always keep your door locked as well, even if you're at home. This prevents someone from walking into the house.
Everyone needs a little help sometimes. If you live in an assisted living apartment, the staff will determine what type of assistance you need, but it's also important for you to speak up if you need additional help. They typically help with things like transfers and personal care tasks so you don't fall during those tasks. Medication management is another important service the staff can provide. This prevents you from missing a dose or taking too much of a medication.
If you live on your own, you might ask a family member to help out with some things. You can also hire help. For instance, you might hire a housekeeping service if it's difficult for you to keep up with your chores. Getting help with the tasks that are difficult or dangerous for you to do based on your physical condition can prevent serious injuries.
Meeting your neighbors can help you feel safer at home, especially if you don't live in an assisted living community. They can help look out for you and notify you if they notice anything suspicious. You can also ask them for help if you need it. Even in an assisted living community, getting to know your neighbors and socializing with people can be beneficial. It can help you feel more connected to the community so you feel at home and safe.
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