Home Safety Tips for Elderly Roommates
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How Can I Make My Home Safer for My Elderly Parents Who Are Coming to Live With Me?
There are home safety products you can purchase and actions you should take to make your home safer for older people. Among the products you could install and other safety actions you could take:
- Non-slip surface for your tub – There are a variety of methods to make tubs safer, including installing non-slip inserts, a full non-slip tub pad, or paint or spray-on treatments to the floor of your tub.
- Grab bars – Bathroom safety is critical to accident prevention and installing grab bars in appropriate areas greatly reduce falls and trips.
- Cord winders – Electrical and other cords that may appear inconspicuous but stretched across areas that might invite accidents can be stored and put safely out of the way.
- Counter-top microwave ovens – If you currently have one of the popular over the stove microwave ovens, consider installing another on your kitchen counter, making it easier for elderly people to access it and also avoiding drops and spills of items that may be very hot.
- Well lit staircases – Using full stairwell lighting solutions (at least 60 watt bulbs) and darkening staircase windows (if they cause glare) is an excellent way to prevent serious accidents.
- Lower water heater temperature – Remove the possibility of scalding by lowering your hot water temperature to 120 Fahrenheit or a bit less. On most modern water heaters you can do it yourself by setting the temperature or moving the indicator to the “low” level.
- Remove all scatter rugs – Leave only those rugs that are tacked, taped, glued, or installed with a good non-slip backing to your floor to prevent falls and spills.
- Install levers instead of doorknobs – Levers are quite attractive and much easier to operate than smooth, round doorknobs.
- Keep lights, telephones, and switches close to the bed – Do not force elderly people to contort and reach too far to activate lights, TV's, ceiling fans, or answer phones by keeping these items close to the bed and only a short reach away.
Other safety products, like portable or wearable medical alert alarms, may be appropriate depending on the age and health of your elderly roommates. Concentrate on their safety and comfort to improve everyone's quality of life as older adults become part of your family.