We all tend to take our parents’ health for granted. But the reality is, as our parents get older, daily life at home can quickly become hazardous for them. Now may be the time to survey your parent’s home and start making some adjustments to keep them safer as they age.
In the Kitchen
- If the kitchen floor is made of tile or another hard or slippery surface, make sure it’s outfitted with some non-skid mats.
- Make sure frequently used items are stored at a reachable level. Purchase a long-handled ‘grabber’ tool for harder-to-reach items.
- Keep a slip-resistant step stool handy for reaching higher items safely.
- Create an emergency phone-number list and hang it on your parents’ fridge or hang a small, dry-erase board with important numbers near their phone.
In the Bathroom
- Remove tripping hazards, like fuzzy bath mats, and replace them with non-skid, low-pile mats – or keep the area free of all rugs and mats.
- Install grab bars in the shower to help prevent falls; a removable shower head will make bathing easier as well.
- Put rubber mats in the bathtub to prevent slipping.
- Add a nightlight to help them navigate middle-of-the-night trips.
Around the House
- Minimize clutter, from stacks of magazines and newspapers to extraneous furniture items, to ensure your parents can move around without unnecessary obstacles.
- Replace round door knobs with lever handles, which make doors easier to open.
- Apply a layer of non-slip wax to floors, and add no-slip strips to stairs.
- Move light switches to a level that’s more accessible from a chair or bed, and add easy-to-reach lamps in common locations as well.
Taking these relatively small measures around your parents’ home will be unobtrusive for them, yet give you the peace of mind that they’re a little bit safer.