If you are caring for an elderly family member, there are steps you can take to make the house safer and more accessible for them to use. Elderly individuals may have diminished eyesight, trouble balancing, and limited mobility. Here are a few tips to make a home safer for seniors and help elderly family members live more independently.
Easy Ways to Make a Home Safer for Seniors
Improve the Lighting
Better lighting throughout the house will help older people navigate the home, cook meals, and choose clothing. Replace dim bulbs with bright, LED ones that last longer and use less energy. Install motion-sensor night lights in hallways, bathrooms, and the kitchen. After dark, these lights will power on automatically, illuminating the way for any family member who is up at night.
Assess the lighting throughout the house and determine where you can make improvements. Modern smart bulbs are a great choice for homes with older people living there. You can adjust the brightness and the color of the light to make it comfortable for their eyes and to provide enough light for reading, cooking, and other tasks. Manage these Wi-Fi-connected bulbs with an app on a smartphone or tablet, or incorporate a home hub to control the smart bulbs with voice commands. Your older family members will appreciate the convenience of adjusting the lighting without leaving their chairs.
Safer Flooring for Senior Citizens
Rugs and carpets can be challenging to navigate when using a wheelchair or walker. Remove carpeting and get rid of rugs in the home. Throw rugs, doormats, and bathmats can pose a tripping hazard for people with limited mobility.
When choosing flooring, research the pros and cons of each material. An ideal floor is durable and slip-resistant. You’ll need to consider the mobility of your elderly loved ones, as wheelchairs and walkers are difficult to maneuver over some flooring materials.
Cork flooring is a great option in a home with elderly family members. Cork is natural and sustainable; it’s smooth and easy to traverse, comfortable underfoot, and softer than hardwoods, providing a more cushioned floor in case of a fall. If you live in a home with senior citizens, consider cork as a flooring option.
Better Exterior Lighting to Make a Home Safer for Seniors
Adequate exterior lighting boosts safety in any household, especially a home with elderly individuals. Use programmable smart bulbs or motion-sensing lighting outside the home. When you return home at dusk, the lights will be on, illuminating the way into the house.
Exterior lighting also improves home security by deterring burglars. If a potential thief approaches the property, a motion-detecting light will power on, discouraging them from attempting a break-in.
Simple modifications will improve safety and help seniors feel more secure in their homes. These quick and inexpensive updates allow you to create a safer household for elderly family members.