Seniors over the age of 65 account for approximately half of all injury-related hospitalizations in Canada, and the majority of these are due to slips and falls. In 2021, National Senior Safety Week takes place from November 6 to 12 and is the perfect opportunity to help a senior in your life maximize their safety and independence at home. Here are a few key tips.
In the bedroom
Make sure there’s a clear path between the bed and the door. Install a nightlight or place a light switch near the bed that can be turned on without getting up. These adjustments will make it easy for your loved one to move around and see where they’re going if they need to get up at night to use the bathroom.
In the kitchen
Keep small items that are used daily, such as utensils, cups, glasses and lids, in easy-to-reach locations. Place items that don’t get used very often, such as plastic dishes and stainless-steel bowls, up high. Heavy objects, such as pots, pans and small appliances, should be stored in cabinets and drawers that are close to the ground.
In the bathroom
Install grab bars in the shower and beside the toilet. A bathing chair can be used to make it easier to wash and help prevent leg fatigue. In addition, a non-slip rubber mat with suction cups will make surfaces less slippery. You can also install a handheld shower, which is easier to handle, as well as a temperature regulator to prevent accidental burns.
In high-traffic areas
Ensure that all hallways, staircases and entrances are clear of obstacles, clutter and tripping hazards. If there are throw rugs, make sure they’re properly secured and aren’t wrinkled or bunched up. Furthermore, make sure there’s adequate lighting in these areas and a sturdy handrail along either side of the staircase.
If you want more tips for how to create a safe living environment, arrange an in-home assessment with an occupational therapist.