8 Major Safety Hazards for Older Adults
For people over age 65, one slip or fall can lead to months of recovery. As people age, they need to become more aware of safety hazards and take the necessary precautions to avoid them. Here are eight hazards seniors and their caregivers should watch out for.
1. Area Rugs
Area rugs may bring the room together, but they are also easy to trip over. To ensure area rugs aren’t a safety hazard, secure them at the edges with rug or carpet tape.
2. Dim Lighting
For seniors with vision impairment, dim lighting can be dangerous. It can lead them to trip over objects left on the floor or bump into furniture. To ensure seniors can navigate their homes to the best of their abilities, use high wattage bulbs that cast bright light. Caregivers can help them choose appropriate light bulbs for their fixtures, and they can also install the bulbs.
To make staircases as safe as possible, caregivers should make sure they’re equipped with sturdy handrails. Seniors who can no longer use the stairs may want to invest in a stairlift. These handy devices take the danger out of going up the stairs.
4. Slippery Bathrooms
Many accidents occur in the bathroom. When bathtubs and bath tiles get wet, they can become a major safety hazard to aging adults. To maximize bathroom safety, equip the room with grab bars, handrails, and nonslip bathmats. A transfer tub bench may be helpful for seniors with limited mobility.
Seniors should try their best to keep the floor clean and free of clutter. If the floor is covered with boxes, shoes, and dog toys, tripping is almost inevitable. If caregivers notice seniors are starting to neglect their cleaning duties, a gentle reminder about the importance of good housekeeping might be necessary. Seniors who are having difficulty keeping their homes clean may want to hire a housekeeper or a professional caregiver.
6. Extension Cords
Seniors are more tech-savvy than ever. However, when this ever-increasing number of gadgets and gear requires cords, it can create a safety hazard. Seniors and caregivers should make sure extension cords are always close to the wall rather than running across rooms or hallways.
Hallways can be difficult for seniors to navigate, especially when they are dark. Night lights are a great way to illuminate hallways, and they can help seniors find the bathroom in the middle of the night. Caregivers should also make sure there is a working smoke detector in all hallways.
8. Low Toilet Seat
Low toilet seats often cause slips and falls. However, there are booster seats that can be attached to standard toilet seats. This makes it easier for seniors to sit down on the seat and reduces the chance of falling.