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Home Safety for the Elderly

Bidisha Mukherjee Apr 17, 2019
Home safety for the elderly becomes a major concern when they are living alone. Read on to get some useful tips for making the home safe for the elderly.
Due to aging and deterioration of health, the body of an elderly person tends to become frail and weak. Even normal movements of the body get somewhat clumsy. As a result, daily activities like climbing stairs, opening door knobs or using toilets seem to be a daunting task for them.
Statistics have found that every year thousands of elderly people who are in the age group of 65 years and above, meet with an accident at home itself. For all these reasons, home safety for the elderly is a must if he or she is spending some time alone at home.


One of the most accident prone areas of your house is the stairs. Elderly people find it quite difficult to climb them. Therefore, if possible shift them downstairs, so that their use of stairs is minimum.
The stairs should be fitted with railings with both sides so that they can hold on to maintain their body balance. If the stair floors are covered with carpet, then the edges should be taped properly to avoid the chances of tripping due to folded carpet.
Do not keep any object on the stairs to ensure that they can move on them freely. Most importantly, there should be sufficient amount of light on the stairs, so that they can see the steps properly.


Special safety is needed in bathroom area. Its flooring should be slip resistant. Keep shower and toilet grab bars that they can hold on to for preventing slips. Cushion the bathtub, so they aren't majorly injured if they fall.
Faucets with levers are more convenient for them to use. Keep a single control faucet for both hot and cold water. For those who cannot move around freely, a hand-held shower is preferable.

Fire Safety

As the mobility of the elderly is restricted, any fire breakout in the home can cause injuries. Even smoke inhalation can be fatal. So, proper fire safety measures are a must. The main source of fire are ovens and stoves.
In such cases, the use of a microwave is a much safer option for them. You should install devices like smoke detectors and fire alarm systems at home that can warn them about burning food or if the stove is on.
Check them once in a month, if they are in good working condition. A fully charged fire extinguisher should also be with their reach. Give them proper training on how to use it.

Basic Home Safety

Here are some basic tips on home safety for older adults, that will help to make life easier for them

► To prevent slipping, floors should be made slip-resistant. They should also wear dry, flat, non-slip shoes in the house.

► Some elderly have the habit of wandering at night. In that case, secure both the front door and back door with extra locks.
► Doorknobs are difficult to rotate for people suffering from arthritis. So replace them with levers which are easier to handle.

► Night lights should be used in their bedroom, bathroom, and hallway to improve visibility. The switches of the lights should be illuminated.
► Those items which are needed during an emergency should be stored in one place, in labeled containers which can be easily accessed by the elderly. These items include first aid kit, toolbox, extra pair of glasses, flashlights, etc.
Along with these measures of home safety for the elderly, it has to be ensured that they lead an active healthy life. They should eat healthy food and drink hot drinks. They should not remain sitting in one place throughout the day.
Mild exercises, like walking, can make their muscles strong and improve the body balance and coordination, which in turn would help in averting accidental falls.