Mary Alexander: Hi! I am Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care. Today, I am talking about home safety for seniors, and now I want to share with you simple things you can do to make life easier for your senior loved one using lighting, color and security measures.
In all the time that Home Instead has been working with seniors, they recognize three mindsets about making their home safer as they age.
First, lots of seniors don't like to admit they are getting older, so they avoid making changes. Second, if they recognize they need help, they often don't know where to start to look for it and third, they worry about cost for making changes. So avoid it all together.
So how can you help? Conduct an objective review of the conditions of the home and determine what needs to be done to make it safe. Take a notepad and begin your assessment. You might consider asking another family member or friend to assist you with this, so that he or she can take notes while you conduct the examination. So let's begin.
Examine dark pathways, corners and other areas where seniors regularly walk or read. It's really important to make sure all areas of the home have adequate lighting. Timed and motion sensor lighting outdoors can illuminate potentially dangerous pathways, inside, consider Ott Lights which provide a high intensity beam for doing detail work.
It's also helpful to convert single bulb light fixtures to multiple bulbs so senior still have light when one bulb burns out. At a minimum, make sure all light fixtures are in good working order and that hallways and stairs are properly lit.
Avoid monochromatic color schemes, contrasting color is going to help seniors with failing eyesight, better navigate their homes.
For instance, large red and blue buttons over hot and cold water faucet controls will help prevent dangerous mistakes. A dark green or brown toilet seat and vinyl tape around the shower will make those fixtures more easily distinguished.
Kitchen counters should also contrast with the floor, so that seniors can easily distinguish where the counter begins and ends. Doing so can prevent burns and broken glass incidents. Consider security; check both the front and backdoors to make sure that visitors are visible prior to entry.
Ensure that all locks are in working order and that you and other family members as well as trusted neighbors have an extra set of keys. It's also important to check the locks on interior doors. For instance, make sure bathroom locks can be disengaged from both sides in case of an emergency.
Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are on every floor and be sure to replace the batteries every six months. It's also important to have a working fire extinguisher accessible in the kitchen and on each level of the home.
For your senior's personal safety, make sure there is a phone available by the bed and a flashlight and emergency items are within reach. Look for ways to make entry safe, make sure that railings into a home are in good repair and that steps and sidewalks are not damaged or if possible, eliminate steps all together.
Make sure that doors into a home can be set to stay open for caring groceries and other items in and out. If mom has trouble with her hands, consider installing remote control locks.
In the next video, we will talk about how to make life easier by simplifying and organizing their households.