When a new baby comes home, parents go above and beyond to protect their offspring. Outlets are covered, child-proof locks that even the parents can’t open are installed and baby gates become the norm. But are the same measures taken when people age?
As we grow older and wiser, needs change. Perfect vision turns into a pair of glasses with bifocal lenses. Bathroom cabinets are filled with medicine and hair color, for men and women, of course. Father time is not sexist and neither are dangers around the home.
Every situation is different. Parents might move in, grandparents might move out to a new place or simply put, age has taken its toll. Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric knows a home should be safe regardless of time and age. This is why we would like to share a few easy and affordable changes to your home that could possibly eliminate unexpected harmful situations to those you love.
According to the National Institute of Health, three of the eight areas of age-related change are eyes and ears, bones and joints and functional abilities.
A bathroom can be of high risk to seniors, especially as bones and joints wear down. You can reduce these risks with simple changes like adding a hand-held shower head, bath bench, toilet seat riser and grab bars.
As mobility decreases, changing the toilet to sit higher than normal with a riser eases the task of lowering and lifting the body. Adding these bars will allow a person to use their arm strength in addition to their legs and back.
Around the House
Falling is always a risk as we age and our vision and mobility diminish. Adding hand rails on both sides of the stairs provides additional support for movement between floors.
Some tips to avoid tripping are to: remove area rugs that slide, make sure all cords are out of sight and traffic and do not cover cords with carpets or furniture as it may cause a fire. Replace heavy dishes and glasses with lightweight, non-breakable dishware. Clearing the table and cleaning the kitchen can pose some risks, too.
Nightlights around the house are another easy addition that can have dramatic impact. Maintaining nightlights throughout the home allows everyone to see where they are going and prevent tripping accidents at night. If on a budget, the most important places to include a light are bedrooms, bathrooms and hallways. Also, an easy-access personal flashlight can provide mobile lighting if needed.
Check stairways to make sure they are well-lit and equipped with non-slip strips.
Motion detection lighting is also a great option for increased safety. Installing motion-sensitive lighting means no searching for switches in the dark – whether returning to an unlit home or in the middle of the night!
Finally, but most important, you have seen the television ads of a senior citizen needing emergency assistance. These ads showcase the reality that something could happen at any time. To prevent these situations, an emergency response system can notify ambulances, fire departments and police to aid depending in an emergency. You can find a list of the benefits and comparisons between systems at www.consumerreports.org.
With an estimated 1.9 million seniors (65+ years) expected to be living in the United States in 2015, any of these situations could become a reality for yourself or as a caregiver to a family member. Applewood Plumbing is available to assess modifications and provide expertise to ensure your home repairs maintain safety at the highest standard.