Falls and slips become more dangerous as you age, especially when you live alone. Setting your home up for maximum safety is recommended. There are a wide variety of products you can use, such as grab bars, to make your home safer in addition to basic safety strategies that reduce the risk of falling in your home.
Your safety strategy can vary depending on the type of flooring you have in your home. For instance, area rugs over a hardwood floor can be hazardous if the area rugs aren't placed over a non-slip mat. Cords and other small items should always be placed out of the walkways in your home to reduce the risk of tripping. If you can, get down so that you are close to eye level with the floor to spot any items that you may fall over.
As you age, your skin becomes less sensitive to hot and cold. Take a few moments to set your hot water heater to 120 degrees to reduce the danger of being burned. Lastly, you should always use a step ladder with non-skid legs to reach high cabinets. A step ladder is much safer than using a chair to reach high places.
Safety in The Bath and Kitchen
Cooking is an activity enjoyed by many, including seniors. When you are cooking, whether heating water for tea or making a meal, you can use a loud timer to ensure you don't forget something is on the burner. Non- slip mats in front of the kitchen sink are also needed to prevent falls. In addition to these necessities, you should also have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen at all times.
Non-slip mats are also needed around the bathtub and sink. The tub can be particularly tricky to navigate if you have limited mobility. If possible, take a cordless phone or alert system with you and keep it as close to the bath as you can. Installing grab bars on the tub and using a shower chair can also reduce the chance of falls significantly. Keep everything you need within arm's reach by using a tray that sits across the tub. This will allow you easy access to your bathing supplies without standing or reaching.
When you live alone it is important to stay in touch with someone. Set a time to call a friend, family member, or neighbor each day. If you miss a call, you will know that someone will come by and make sure you are safe. You should also keep a list of important numbers, and a cordless phone, in each room of your home. As a backup in the case of power failure, you can also keep a regular cord article phone on hand. With just a little modification and preparation, you can live the independent lifestyle you want without sacrificing your safety.