Make your home a safer place to stay as you grow older

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Most people prefer to stay in their own homes and maintain their independence for as long as possible. This is as much true in India as it is across the world. But getting older can mean the place you once felt safe and comfortable becomes trickier to navigate. That’s when you have to start taking some measures to make your stay in your home safer. May remind you of what kind of changes you made to keep your children safe when they were very young. Some suggestions by the author in the article below are useful for you to explore in making it safer for yourself. Team RetyrSmart

Make your home a safer place to stay as you grow older

We take a look at some of the small changes that can make a big difference.

  1. Sort out your stairs

One of the most dangerous places in the house is your stairs. That’s because common hazards on the stairways can increase the risk of a fall. Likely culprits include fraying or loose carpet, lack of stair rails or objects temporarily left on the steps.

To make going upstairs or downstairs safer, secure any loose carpet or rugs and ensure the steps themselves are always clear. Add bannisters if they’re missing and make sure there’s adequate lighting for the area. You could also try a carpet colour that strongly contrasts with the walls (to make it easier to see the stairs). If you don’t want to replace the carpet, you could repaint the walls a contrasting colour.

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  1. Get a bath to suit your needs

A relaxing soak is one of life’s small pleasures for many, but sadly bathing may be one of the first activities that becomes challenging for an older person. You need a certain amount of strength and agility to get into and out of a bath. It’s easy to take this for granted, and some people only come to terms with the fact they’re having problems after they’ve had a fall in the bathroom.

Luckily, there are plenty of adaptations that can make soaking safer. Walk-in baths or ones with a built-in seat that can make bathing significantly easier for those who are losing their strength. While grab rails are a really subtle change that can make a huge difference to your self-confidence.

  1. Improve bedroom safety

Your bedroom should be a place of comfort but increasing age can make getting in and out of bed harder than it used to be. There’s plenty of useful equipment that can make this easier, from bed levers to slip-prevention floorboards.

Keeping a chair in the bedroom to sit on while you dress and undress can help with balance problems and make it easier to put on shoes and socks.

  1. Protect yourself in the kitchen

A kitchen is essential for preparing food, but there are a number of hazards to encounter here. From open flames to sharp knives to boiling water, safety is paramount.

A good ventilation system is also essential in the kitchen as cooking and washing up can fill a room with condensation. Make sure all windows are simple to open and are easily reached. If you don’t already have an extractor fan in the kitchen, find out if it’s possible to install one.

  1. Check the lightbulbs

It may sound obvious, but decent lighting reduces the chances of a fall and will make you feel safer. So check your light switches are working properly and are located in positions that are easy to reach. If any are in awkward positions, consider replacing them.

A high-wattage light bulb will provide more brightness. Make sure you have a supply of replacements available and keep working torches on hand in case of a power cut.

  1. Get the geyser serviced

Identify problems with your hot water or heating before they start to affect you by ensuring you get your geyser serviced each year. Remember, gas boilers must be serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

  1. Consider assistive technology

Telecare systems send a warning to a call centre or carer if there’s a problem in the home, such as a fall, inactivity, or there’s a fire, flood or gas leak. These could be movement sensors, wearable alarm pendants or a GPS tracking device. Such devices can prevent a problem before it happens or send an alert so quick assistance can be arranged if something does go wrong.

  1. Think about home security

You may want visitors, such as family and friends, to have a key to your home in case you’re not able to let them in. But leaving a key under the mat isn’t a good idea. Consider a key safe box that requires a code to open that can be fixed to a wall outside.

An intercom system, which uses a phone or camera, may also be a good idea. This way you’ll be able to see who is at the door before choosing whether or not to open it.

And as well as traditional security equipment, ‘smart’ security devices are available to enable you to control a range of devices around the home, such as wireless cameras, motion detectors and smart doorbells.

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Disclaimer: The content including advice on this website provides generic information only. Its not been customised for any particular individual or situation. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified and specific opinion whatever be the area viz. health, finances, retirement, lifestyle etc. Always consult a domain specialist for more information. The information is the viewpoint of the author/source and Retyrsmart does not claim responsibility for this information.
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