1. Fall-proof your home: Falls are the number one cause of injury among older people, so preventing falls should be the first priority. Install non-slip strips on floors, steps and showers or tubs. Arrange furniture in a way that will open up walkways, and make sure staircases have handrails on both sides.
2. Intercoms and alert systems: Having a medical alert system along and intercoms around the home will ensure a higher degree of safety. Access to other forms of communication is valuable if there is an emergency and someone can't get to the phone.
3. Double-locked doors: Having doors that lock both from the inside and outside is very smart, especially on bathroom doors. If someone falls while in the bathroom or bedroom--and the door is locked--it can pose a dangerous situation. A door that can be opened from the outside allows other people to come in and help.
4. Well-lit areas: It's important for seniors to keep their home as well-lit as possible. Having light in areas such as staircases, hallways and on the front porch is essential to safety. Being able to see exactly where you're walking and what you're doing can prevent falls and other injuries. Additionally, make sure bedrooms and bathrooms have automatic night lights.
5. Shower chairs: Install shower chairs, bath benches and grab handles in the bathroom. Many seniors slip and fall while bathing, but this precaution greatly minimizes the potential for injury.
6. Prevent accidental scalding: People over age 65 are four to five times more likely to experience a fatal injury from a burn or scald. Turn down the water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that there is no way anyone can get burned.
These small changes and home safety tips can make a big difference in creating a safe and comfortable environment for your loved ones.
This story is part of a content partnership with CENTURY 21(r) Real Estate.