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A Home Safety Checklist

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The number of adults choosing to age in place grows each year. Their homes are going to have to meet needs that probably weren’t anticipated when the home was purchased. With almost two-thirds of slips and falls each year occurring in the home, it only makes sense to make some changes to ensure the safety within the home. If you or a loved one has chosen to age in place, here are some tips to get your home ready.

Bathrooms – It is no surprise that 80 percent of falls happen in the bathroom. With a few quick adjustments, you or a loved one won’t end up as part of that statistic.

  1. For additional safety and support, add a toilet incline lift in the bathroom for safety and independence.
  2. Utilize slip‐resistant mats inside and outside showers and tubs or where water can cause slick surfaces.
  3. Place bathroom products within easy reach to prevent strain.

Floors – Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the ER for a fall. Often, small hazards that could cause a trip or fall are overlooked.

  1. Make sure you have clear accessible paths and move furniture if you need to.
  2. Store rugs or secure them to the floor.
  3. Remove all clutter from the floors such as shoes and toys.
  4. Bundle all cords from appliances, electronics, and phones.

Stairs – Outdoor stairs are a huge hazard even before age becomes a factor. Although it is best to avoid these stairs if possible, there are a few things you can do to make them safer.

  1. Fix and maintain any loose steps or handrails.
  2. If possible, add lighting to the stairway with a switch at both the top and bottom.
  3. If using stairs are not an option, consider a semi-permanent ramp or a home access lift.

Kitchen – The kitchen can be full of hazards if you aren’t careful. With age often comes a decreased reaction time, which can lead to safety issues.

  1. For quick access, move items from high shelves or cabinets to lower ones, or place things on the counter.
  2. Make sure there is plenty of ventilation in case of a fire or smoke.
  3. It is also a good idea to replace breakable bakeware with plastic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in four Americans fall each year. These accidents can be prevented with just a few home modifications. Making these adjustments and using this checklist can help prepare your home to be a safe place. If you feel like you need any additional assistance in the home modification process, contact us today and talk to one of our knowledgeable team members.

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