TIPS FOR INCREASED SAFETY FOR SENIORS LIVING AT HOME

Irish seniors looking at fall prevention guide

As the old saying goes – prevention is better than the cure. At www.ageinginplace.ie we believe that the process of modifying and adapting your home can be daunting and the information you need is not easy to find. 

Home adaptations can play a key role in supporting elderly people to live independently in their own homes  and can help prevent the requirements of more intrusive and expensive care requirements . Home adaptations are also a great way of assessing the home with the aim of  preventing needless falls and accidents.

When assessing the home environment for safer independent senior living we believe that home adaptations fall into 2 main categories , optional based home adaptations and needs based homes adaptations .

Optional based home adaptations are relatively easy and cost effective to implement and include . Some of the adaptations we recommend include :

  1. De clutter – Clear all pathways, steps, stairways and loose furnishings in the common walk or access areas.
  2. Flooring – Loose rugs should be taped to the floor upended carpets replaced or repaired and non-slip flooring application be applied to the tiled floors in the bathroom, kitchen, or hallways to prevent falls or slips.
  3. Remove cords and cables – Where possible go cordless, but if cords and cables need to be applied ensure that they are tacked to walls or skirting s.
  4. Lighting – Install new light bulbs throughout the home and consider motion censored light bulbs in certain parts of the home such as back and front doors, toilets, and utility rooms.
  5. Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms – Ensure that you have smoke alarms fitted throughout your home. These should be checked on a regular basis to ensure they are working

Needs based home adaptations involve a bit more planning and as they involve alterations of in some cases structural works , they are more expensive . Some of the adaptations we recommend include

  1. Bathroom aids – Install Gripo polls or grab rails in the bathroom
  2. Bathroom adaptations  – consider having a walk in bathtub or wet room installed.
  3. Keep your stairs safe – Ensure that all railings inside and outside the home are safe. In some instances, it may be practical to rail both sides of the staircases. We also recommend the installation of a stair lift to or other products such as Assistep to make this part of the home safer.
  4. Assistive technology for seniors – Consider investing in connected alarm and support technology to give you added piece of mind. This technology is both non evasive and discreet but can provide and extra layer of support for you and your loved ones.
  5. Emergency numbers – we recommend the you have emergency numbers accessible should they be needed either on your mobile phone our through assisted technology support hubs. 

You can further investigate ideas around products and services , assess you eligibility for grant supports at www.ageinginplace.ie

We would also recommend that you talk to a Occupational therapist who are trained in the area of  ageing in place and can help you build a plan for you specific requirements you can visit www.aoti.ie or request some OT’s in your area here .