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The Importance of Updating Home Safety Features as You Age

The Importance of Updating Home Safety Features as You Age 1

Falls, burns, the inability to call someone, and a lack of safety features are a few major reasons that health complications occur in many elderly people.

There is a growing number of older people who continue to live independently, so it is important to prepare the home and make it safer. Older people can have a harder time getting around their homes or even be targeted by criminals who want an easy target.

If you are getting older and living on your own, or you care for an older person living alone here is what you can do to keep your home safe.

Replace Slippery Floors

You want to prevent falls as you get older, so if you start to have balance issues or drag your feet, those hardwood or tile floors can become a tripping hazard. Make changes to risky floors to prevent slips and falls. Review the slip rating on any new tile or floor you install.

Add Necessary Shower Fixtures

Add necessary safety features to the bathroom. You might install a new shower bench or a safety bar to help the older person get in and out of the shower more easily.

Add Safety Features to Stairs

At the very least you want to light stairs properly so you or your family members don’t fall down the stairs at night. However, you should also think about adding stair lifts if the elderly person has mobility issues. These lifts are especially useful for people that live alone and have trouble maintaining balance when using the stairs. The type of lift you will need may depend on whether it will be used for a spiral staircase or one that is more linear.

Add Home Automation Features

Any home, even an older home, can have automation features. You can add an automated thermostat that can regulate the temperature for elderly people, making it warmer or cooler as the person needs without having to stand up and go to the thermostat every time it needs to be changed.

You might also want to add smart lights and program them to go on and off at certain times of the day or night. Motion sensors can ensure that no one walks in the dark. Best of all, motion lights also add a certain amount of safety to a home. It wards off criminals or strangers when they walk around the home.

Utilize a Home Security System

A security system adds extra comfort and protects your family member. An advanced security system lets you check your home remotely via your cell phone or computer. It helps you protect the safety of your loved one.

If you or a loved one lives alone and is aging, you want to keep the home as protected and as safe as is possible. Aside from house remodeling or safety additions, you should also perform a few basic safety tasks to keep everything secure. For instance, you should keep windows and doors locked all the time, never let strangers into the house when you are alone, and talk about anyone who calls to make that special sales offer. Do not share personal or financial information over the phone with people you don’t know.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan