NJ Elder Safety
Making the necessary changes in your home or elderly loved one’s home
Is your senior citizen moving in with you or are they finding it hard to get around their own house? Here are some tips to help reduce the likelihood of accidents and give you some piece of mind:
Outside the house:
- Add a ramp to replace steps. Maximum slope should be 1 inch for every 20 inches of length with a bolt in place for stability.
- Add rails on both sides of steps.
- Add non-slip, contrasting color strips on exterior stairs to help your senior with reduced vision to easily identify steps.
- Add lighting along walkways and pathways, plus motion detectors.
Inside the house:
- Replace door knobs with flip handles.
- Replace swinging doors with pocket doors.
- Visual-signaling smoke detectors have a light that flashes when smoke is detected to alert a person who is hard of hearing.
- Increase the size of door openings.
- Fasten rugs and mats to floors to reduce tripping with double-sided tape.
- Add handles on both sides of stairwells.
- Consider installing a chair lift on stairway.
In the bathroom:
- Though it can be expensive, consider installing a roll-in shower or low-rise step-in tub.
- Add handles and grab-bars in tub and toilets. Add hand-held shower heads.
- If your senior is in a wheelchair, install roll-up cabinets.
- Make sure faucets have anti-scald temperature controls.
In the kitchen:
- Again, if your senior is in a wheelchair, install roll-up cabinets.
- Install pull-out shelves for low or deep shelves.
- Lower the light switches.
- A side-by-side refrigerator/freezer will allow for easier access.
- Install a wall-mounted oven for easier access.
- Be sure furniture is stable, and has no sharp corners.
- Remove scatter rugs and clutter.
Posted by: Frank Esposito, Vice President of Expert Home Care. New Jersey’s Expert Home Care provides professional and reliable home health care and companion care for NJ elderly, helping them with their daily living activities since 1984. Please call us toll free at 800-848-2336 when you have home care related questions or need assistance for a loved one. Get a Free Home Care Assessment (a $375 value!) when you mention this post.