It is common knowledge that as we age more and more health problems tend to creep up. This is an accepted and anticipated part of getting old. However, the sheer number of people who will be deemed senior citizens is expected to increase drastically in the coming years. By 2030 in fact, more than 60% of Baby Boomers will be living with at least one chronic health condition. With this in mind, it is important to take note of some of the health and safety changes seniors can make to their homes. Personal injury related to household threats is fairly well known and there are a number of studies that have identified the leading risks seniors face. And not surprisingly, many of these are very easy to find in many residencies today. Here are some critical steps to consider for safety changes seniors need to keep in mind to stay safe at home:
Increase Security Precaution
It is an unfortunate fact that seniors are often victims of crimes and scams. This can be due to decreases in mental capacity, hearing, and vision that make them easier targets. It is estimated that nearly 28.8 million U.S. adults need hearing aids, which can help improve their overall comfort and security while living in their own homes. It can also help them be more alert and aware of their surroundings and what is going on in and around their homes.
Install Ramps and Stair Lifts
When people are living with a range of chronic conditions, it can become difficult and dangerous to navigate stairs around the home. Installing ramps and stairlifts can make it easier for senior adults to get around their homes without the fear of falling. It allows them to enjoy more freedom and independence while still living at home and to not be confined to a single room or floor of the home. And it can be a great addition to make for seniors living on their own.
Make Shower and Tub Modifications
There is a wide range of shower and tub renovations that can help make independent living safer and easier for seniors. Simple additions like slip mats and handles in the tub and shower can make bathing easier. For even safer and more convenient bathing options, walk-in tubs and sit-down shower chairs are also worth considering for seniors. Self-care is often one of the first areas that seniors tend to let slide as they age, so these upgrades are worth instigating.
Remove Trip and Fall Risks
Another major risk for the overall safety and wellbeing of seniors today is the many ways they can trip, slip, or fall. From floor rugs, looks carpets, slippery floors, uneven floorboards, poorly placed furniture, wires and cords, and many others, you can find these concerns in any senior’s home right now. It is important to check for these risks and to ensure your loved one can get around their home without a loss of hazards and navigational issues being thrown in their way.
When you consider that nearly 27% of Americans were renting their homes in 2016, it is easy to see how individual living situations must be taken into account as well. Not all senior renovations are renter-friendly and if renting is what a senior wants, they will need to pay careful attention to what is and is not allowed for with their rental arrangements. With homeownership, there is greater freedom to upgrade and renovate as needed to make the home safe and to ensure the health and wellbeing of aging residents are protected. Keeping seniors safe and healthy at home as they age can be a major concern for family members, but these recommended upgrades can go a long way in keeping the home safe.