Figuring out what’s going to make the biggest impact for your senior in terms of safety may feel like too big a task for you. The best news you can get, though, is that there are small changes that have a huge impact in terms of safety. Give some of these ideas a try.
Address Lighting Issues
If you can only make one safety change in your senior’s home, make it about potential lighting problems. Lighting can be one of the most important concerns plaguing your senior in her home and she may not notice it. Check that the bulbs are bright enough to put out the light she needs in order to see well and don’t be afraid to add additional lighting fixtures, too.
Do Simple Shower Revamps
Your senior’s shower is another potential problem area. Adding a shower bench or chair gives her somewhere to rest while she’s bathing. She may also need a grab bar or a longer shower wand in order to wash without burning too much energy. This might also be a time to talk about whether having elder care providers help with bathing could be a good solution.
Look for Places to Install Grab Bars
Besides the shower, there are lots of other places to install grab bars, too. Hallways, stairways, and other areas where there isn’t additional support are all key places to put this extra mobility tool. Make sure that when you install them, you’re using wall anchors or putting the screws directly into studs. This helps them to be as secure as possible.
Swap out Traditional Doorknobs
Traditional doorknobs aren’t a problem until they are. Your senior may have lived with the same knobs on her doors for decades, but as arthritis or grip strength become problems, she may find that they are more painful than helpful. Swapping them out for alternatives, like lever-style knobs, can be tremendously helpful.
Look More Closely at Thresholds
Doorways and thresholds are a bigger deal than you might think. Your senior needs to have room to safely maneuver through the doorway, especially if she’s using a tool like a walker, but she also needs a smooth surface. Thresholds in particular can cause a tripping hazard and might need to be removed or replaced.
Finding potential safety issues is a never-ending task for caregivers, but you can also get help from elder care providers to spot potential issues.