10 Ways to Safety-Proof Your Loved One's Home

Jacqueline Marcell Health Guide
  • If your loved ones are still living at home, you want to make sure that they are as comfortable - and safe - as possible. When I began taking care of my parents, I didn’t have a clue about all the things I should do to "elder-proof" their house to help improve their safety. Luckily one day, my mother’s occupational therapist, Mary Jo, pointed out numerous things I could do:

    1. Remove throw rugs–a common cause of falls when an elder’s foot gets caught.

    2. Have a riser made for under the sofa, so they can get in and out of it easier.

    3. Turn the thermostat down on the water heater so they don’t scald themselves.
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    4. Raise the front of the refrigerator 1/4 inch, so the door always closes automatically.

    5. Arrange furniture with clearer paths, but always with secure things to hold onto.

    6. Secure grab bars where there isn’t anything to hold onto, especially in bathroom.

    7. Use daylight bulbs and even-out all lighting.

    8. Remove mirrors, which can cause glare and confusion.

    9. Use non-skid mats in the bath, shower, and in front of the toilets.

    10. Program the phones for one-touch dialing.

    Now it all seems common sense, but at the time as a first-time caregiver–I didn’t think of it. If you have come up with creative solutions to help keep your loved ones safe at home–please share them with us!

    Share your tips for keeping your loved ones safe in the message boards.

    You can learn more about Jacqueline and find information about her book at ElderRage.com.

Published On: July 17, 2006