Making sure a home is safe and livable for any senior should first priority when it comes to senior apartment living. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to deal with safety concerns for your senior’s apartment. Appliance safety (and ease of use), mobility issues, security concerns: all can be addressed to make sure that a senior living on their own is both comfortable and well cared for. Whether you make these modifications on your own or with the help of an occupational therapist, there are plenty of small things you can do to an apartment that will make a big difference for a senior’s apartment safety.
Prevent Slippery Situations
One of the main causes of injury to seniors in the home is a fall. Fortunately, there are several ways to help prevent slipping. When it comes to floors, use non-skid wax, and put non-slip mats in showers and bathrooms. Slip-proof mobility aids can also be a big help—put rubber tips on walkers, canes, or crutches for better traction. Throw rugs, while fun for decoration, can cause problems if they are on slippery surfaces or if they become pushed out of place. Consider getting rid of them altogether in order to keep floors clear of clutter.
Targeting Appliance Safety
Appliances that use heat pose the potential for burn accidents, which can be a real problem for many seniors. Continue your apartment check by looking for burn hazards. Is there a fire extinguisher in the kitchen? Are there protective screens on fireplaces? Are hot water pipes exposed? (If so, use pipe insulation to cover them and prevent burns on bare skin.) Are all the smoke detectors in good working order? (Keep in mind that if you have problems hearing, smoke detectors with strobe lights can be helpful.)
Make Getting Around Easy
If mobility is an issue, make the apartment as easy to navigate as possible. Install sturdy handrails on all stairs for support. You should also keep the floors clear of clutter; if that means rearranging the furniture so that there are easy-to-navigate pathways, do a little redecorating. (Think of it as senior apartment feng shui.)
Keep the Apartment Well-Lit
“Clap on, clap off” is more than just a catchy jingle when it comes to senior apartment safety. Lights that can be turned off remotely, whether with an actual remote or by clapping, can be a big help if mobility is limited. Also check trouble areas like stairways, porches, and walkways to make sure they are well lit. It can also be handy to have nightlights in bathrooms and hallways.
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