One of the greatest dangers that an elderly person faces is falling. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. Over 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls. That's why first and foremost, it's important to rid your home of any tripping hazards.
Do you have electrical chords crossing your floors? Cover them in tape, or better yet, reroute them or get rid of them. Wrinkles and upturned corners in rugs also present a tripping hazard. Consider removing excess rugs in your home.
Climbing in and out of tubs and showers can be tricky business for those with mobility issues. Consider installing bathroom safety features such as grab handles, shower bars or a bathing chair as these simple features can make a world of difference.
Bathroom floors can get slippery. Non-slip mats are great for tubs and showers, while a good bath mat can soak up excess moisture and make the floor outside of the shower a safer step.
3. Install night lights
Install night lights in hallways and bathrooms for safer nightly strolls around the house.
4. Tag leftovers
Label leftovers in the fridge and tag them with clearly visible "expiration" dates. Make sure to use large print for older eyes. Food poisoning is especially dangerous for the elderly, and those with memory difficulties may require help to know when their food has gone bad.
Make sure the home is armed with the adequate number of fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Are their batteries fresh? Discuss a fire escape route with the senior to ensure they know the best way to exit the house in case of emergency.
Many household fires start in the kitchen. Place a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and make sure the senior has been given clear instructions for its use. Even better, tape an illustrated instruction sheet beside it.
6. Consider a Medical Alert Device
In the unfortunate event that an accident does occur, there are many devices available that will instantly summon help in case of emergency. They come in many different forms, such as a necklace, a bracelet or a belt buckle. Consider investing in one of these emergency transmitters that can be worn by the senior at all times.
If the senior is uncomfortable or unwilling to wear such a device, consider giving them a special necklace or belt attachment that enables them to carry their cell phone on their person.