Aging in Place
5 Star Universal Design Company
- Interiors designed for your specific physical accessibility needs
- Facilitating installation of safe environments including the following: Grab bars, stair lifts, elevators, ramps, lighting for aging eye
- Is the best place your existing home or a new home that meets your needs?
The following home safety tips for seniors can help keep you and your loved ones safe. Approximately one-third of adults age 65 years or older fall in their home each year, resulting in injury, long-term disability and premature loss of independence. By 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the cost related to these kinds of injuries to be $60 Billion a year.
Articles on Aging in Place
General Home Safety
- Consider a medical alert or a buddy system.
- Keep a fire extinguisher and smoke detector on every floor.
- Never smoke when alone or in bed.
- Always get up slowly after sitting or lying down. Take your time, and make sure you have your balance.
- Wear proper fitting shoes with low heels.
- Use a correctly measured walking aid.
- Remove or tack down all scatter rugs.
- Remove electrical or telephone cords from traffic areas.
- Avoid using slippery wax on floors.
- Wipe up spills promptly.
- Avoid standing on ladders or chairs.
- Have sturdy rails for all stairs inside and outside the house, or, if necessary, purchase a stairlift.
- Use only non-glare 100 watt or greater incandescent bulbs (or the fluorescent equivalents.)
- Make sure that all stair cases have good lighting with switches at top and bottom.
- Make sure that staircase steps should have a non-slip surface.
- Keep floors clean and uncluttered.
- Illuminate work areas.
- Mark “on” and “off” positions on appliances clearly and with bright colors.
- Store sharp knives in a rack.
- Use a kettle with an automatic shut-off.
- Store heavier objects at waist level.
- Store hazardous items separate from food.
- Avoid wearing long, loose clothing when cooking over the stove.
- Make sure food is rotated regularly and check expiration dates.
Basic Emergency Items for Seniors
Keep these items in a clearly labeled container so they can be easily found and used in case of an emergency. A battery-powered radio – make sure to note which stations provide information in case of a disaster.
- Two battery or solar-powered flashlights. There are also flashlights that can be powered with hand cranks so batteries are not necessary. Make sure the light is bright enough to be useful.
- Extra batteries for hearing aids, flashlights and radios.
- A first-aid kit – regularly check the contents of your kit to ensure there are no expired ointments or other items and make sure its contents are appropriate for the elderly person.
- An extra pair of glasses.
- Extra equipment or medical supplies such as wheelchair batteries or oxygen.
- Note the serial number, make and style of medical devices such as pacemakers.
- Medical insurance and Medicare cards.
- Medical alert wallet card or bracelet – something that identifies hidden medical conditions if an elderly person can’t talk.
- A list of prescription medications and dosage amounts.
- A list of the names and phone numbers of physicians and emergency contacts.
Protect Against Abuse
- Keep your windows and doors locked at all times.
- Never let a stranger into your home when you are there alone.
- Talk over offers made by telephone salespeople with a friend or family member.
- Always ask for written information about any offers, prizes, or charities and wait to respond until you have reviewed the information thoroughly.
- Do not let yourself be pressured into making purchases, signing contracts, or making donations. It is never rude to wait and discuss the plans with a family member or friend.
- Leave a light on in your bathroom at night.
- Use recommended bath aids, securely installed on the walls of the bath/shower stall and on the sides of the toilet.
- Skid-proof the tub and make sure the bath mat has a non-slip bottom.
- To avoid scalds, turn water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
- Mark cold and hot faucets clearly.
- Use door locks that can be opened from both sides.
- If possible, bathe only when help is available.
- Review your medicines frequently with your doctor or pharmacist and when you take new medication.
- Make sure medicines are clearly labeled.
- Read medicine labels in good light to ensure you have the right medicine and always take the correct dose.
- Dispose of any old or used medicines.
- Never borrow prescription drugs from others.
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist before you mix alcohol and your drugs.
- Have medication dispensed in a bubble pack or convenient dispenser.
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist before mixing non-prescription drugs and prescription drugs.
- Never try to heat your home with your stove, oven, or grill since these can give off carbon monoxide–a deadly gas that you cannot see or smell.
- Make sure there is a carbon monoxide detector near all bedrooms, and be sure to test and replace the battery two times a year.
- Keep all medications in their original containers so you don’t mix up medicines.
- Ask your pharmacist to put large-print labels on your medications to make them easier to read.
- Take your medications in a well-lit room, so you can see the labels.
- Bring all of your pill bottles with you to your healthcare provider’s appointments so he or she can look at them and make sure you are taking them correctly.
- Never mix bleach, ammonia, or other cleaning liquids together when you are cleaning. When mixed, cleaning liquids can create deadly gases.