For many older adults, living at home is not only feasible, but it is often the preferred option. But there can be safety concerns, especially if you live by yourself. Between health challenges and the risk of falls, it can seem daunting to live on your own during your golden years. The good news is that there are a few modifications that can make your home safer.
Install a Home Elevator
Not everyone lives in a single-story home, and when you’re older, it can be downright dangerous to climb stairs, especially if you have balance issues. Plus, some elderly people have health issues like heart problems that make it unsafe to exert themselves too much. And if you have to move heavy items between floors, like laundry or groceries, safe home elevators make it much easier.
Invest in Smart Technology
Whether you live by yourself or with a significant other, human connection should still be a big part of your life. But you can improve your safety with technology when you’re aging in place. Video calling can help you stay connected with family and friends who live far away. If you don’t want to drive much anymore, you can have groceries delivered to your doorstep. Smart technology can also make your home safer. Some will help you stay on top of medications and eating properly while other aids can contact your loved ones if you need help. With in-home monitoring equipment, your family or friends can check up on you without texting or calling. You can link devices with voice assistants to lock your doors at night or turn lights on or off.
Make the Bathroom Safer
For many elderly people, the bathroom is a source of safety concerns, particularly the bathtub. It’s slippery and you have to step over the side to get in. Look into getting a walk-in tub designed for seniors. They come in several configurations and sizes to meet your needs. You can get them in neutral colors to meet the existing décor. There's a swinging door that lets you walk right into the tub and you only have to step up seven inches or less. They come with seats while you wait for the tub to fill. It’s a small upgrade that lets you stay independent and wash yourself without having to give up baths.
Falls can cause serious injuries to seniors, so making your home fall-safe can reduce your risk. If you have small area rugs, add a non-slip pad beneath them so they can grip the floor better. Get in the habit of removing clutter, like shoes, loose clothes, or newspapers. Make sure you don’t have any extension cords stretched across the floor. Look around your home and consider what furniture you don’t need anymore. That’ll make the environment more open. Another thing you can do now is to widen the doorways to make room for a walker or wheelchair. Consider altering tight corners near doorways to make it easier to maneuver.