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12 Home Safety Tips & Tricks for Seniors

An elderly woman reads a list of safety tips for seniors that she can use within her own home

Taking home safety precautions can help you gain more independence but also give your loved ones peace of mind. Not only can safety precautions for the elderly be impactful, but some precautions only take minutes to complete. Here are 12 home senior safety tips and tricks for seniors.

  1. Remove Tripping Hazards

    Removing trip and fall hazards is an easy fall prevention step. Things that could be a potential tripping hazard include:

    • Throw rugs
    • Clutter such as shoes, newspapers, loose clothes, etc.
    • Extension cords
    • Pet toys
    • Unstable furniture
    • Poor lighting
    • Uneven stair steps
  2. Work on Fall Prevention

    Falls can cause serious harm, from broken bones to head injuries. Here are some simple steps you can take to prevent falls:

    • Tell your doctor if you’re ever feeling unsteady when standing or walking.
    • Talk to your doctor about the medications you take, as some may make you feel dizzy or sleepy.
    • Have your eyes checked at least once a year.
    • Have your doctor check your feet at least once a year and ask about proper footwear that can reduce your risk of falling.
    • Stay active by practicing exercises that strengthen your legs and improve your balance.
    • Keep your house bright with extra lighting.
  3. Safety-Proof the Bathroom

    Bathrooms can be the riskiest room in the home when it comes to falling or getting hurt. The following precautions can help safety-proof your bathroom:

    • Install grab bars beside the toilet and in the shower.
    • Place rubber mats in the shower or bathtub to prevent slipping.
    • Lower the water heater temperature to prevent accidental burns.
    • Use a bathing or shower chair.
    • Replace the original toilet seat with a raised toilet seat.
    • Install a nightlight in the bathroom.
  4. Consider Medical Alert Systems

    Having a medical alert system, also referred to as a personal emergency response system, is a great way to gain peace of mind. Medical alert systems have advanced beyond the basic wearable devices, such as the bracelets or pendants with buttons that trigger a call to an emergency response center. Now, you can get medical alert systems that could include GPS, cellular connectivity, fall detection, and health and well-being monitors.

    Are medical alert systems covered by Medicare?

    Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) won’t cover medical alert systems, however, you may be able to get coverage from a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicaid may also help pay for some or all of the costs for qualifying individuals.

  5. Keep Medication Safe & Secure

    As we age, we often have more prescriptions to manage. Having help with your medication management can help keep your prescriptions safe, secure and organized appropriately. It’s important to keep an updated list of all your prescription and over-the-counter medications.

  6. Protect Against Outside Dangers

    From keeping the doors and windows locked to using caution when opening the door to someone you don’t know, it’s important to stay as alert and attentive as possible. Installing a peep hole in the front door and adding a home security system can help give you and your family peace of mind.

  7. Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

    Smoke detectors should be installed in each room with new batteries and checked on a regular basis. Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that you cannot see or smell, so it’s important to make sure carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly and are near all bedrooms.

  8. Create Emergency Contact List

    Have a list of important contact numbers in easily accessible locations, such as by telephones and on the refrigerator, in case an emergency were to occur. Include the phone numbers of family members, neighbors, doctors, and the police and fire department. You may also want to include any severe allergies or major health issues.

  9. Be Aware of Stairs

    Stairs can often be the most dangerous risk in a senior’s home. Adding non-slip strips to wooden stairs is an easy way to create a better grip and prevent falling. Making sure the stair railings also don’t wiggle is an easy test. If stairs are a main concern of you and your loved one, it could be beneficial to consider a chair lift.

  10. Put Out-of-Reach Items Within Reach

    Gauge how often items are used and put them in easier to reach places. If you find the reaching for items may be required, make sure you have a step stool that is no more than one or two steps in height.

  11. Check Lighting within the Home

    If you find that you’re misjudging or completely avoiding darkened areas in your home, it’s time to evaluate the lighting situation in your home. Replacing any burnt-out light bulbs, installing new light fixtures, or adding motion detected lighting inside and outside of the home is an easy way to avoid mishaps. Oftentimes, the more lighting, the better.

  12. Create a Check-In Routine

    Regularly checking in with your loved ones is a good way to let them know you’re safe. If you are a caregiver, remind them to call you when they need help with a cleaning or repair job.

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