home safety for elderly

Making some changes around the home can help provide a safer and more comfortable environment for the elderly to live in.

These changes can be simple alterations you do yourself or you can get an assessment done by an occupational therapist who can make recommendations on what to change.

Some simple changes may include:

  • Removing throw rugs and floor rugs that may present a trip hazard.
  • Installing night lights in hallways and stairwells.
  • Make sure there are no electrical cords running where they may be a trip hazard.
  • Changing door knobs to levers.
  • Removing locks from bathroom and toilet doors so they can be accessed quickly in case of a fall.
  • Getting yourself a comfy recliner that can also raise and lower you.
  • Outdoor motion sensor lights on pathways and driveways.
  • Applying non skid material to stairs.
  • Moving low furniture such as coffee tables out of the way.
  • Adjusting the thermostat on the hot water system to stay below 48'C or install a device that prevents scalding.
  • Placing commonly used items in the fridge on the easiest shelf to access.
  • Changing taps to flick mixers.
  • Clearing walkways and repairing cracks or lifted pavers.

 Further changes that may require the help of a tradesman or other professional include:

  • Lowering light switches and widening doorways if you are in a wheelchair.
  • Installing handrails in the bathroom/toilet.
  • Installing a frame-less shower for easy entry.
  • Installing ramps where needed.
  • Installing smoke and gas detectors which are connected to mains power.
  • If you need to climb stairs, a stair lift could be helpful

 The benefits of any improvements you choose to make can go a long way in promoting a safer more independent lifestyle!