We know that 71% of people would rather stay at home than face moving into a care home. Making sure your home is a safe, comfortable and practical place to live is key to you being able to live well at home for longer.
Home safety solutions
As we age, we can sometimes experience a decline in mobility, motor skills and difficulty with balance affecting our gait. Our usual level of senses of hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch may fade. These changes can have an impact on our reactions and how we interact with our environment.
Here are some tips to help you stay safe at home.
In the kitchen
Many accidents typically happen in the kitchen. Taking measures such as keeping knives and sharp objects properly stored, using rear hot plates on the stove and tucking away loose clothing when cooking can help you stay safe in the home.
It goes without saying but you should never leave cooking unattended and avoid carrying hot liquids any further than necessary.
Top Tip! A refrigerator door is a good place to pin emergency contact information. Be sure to include mobile, work and landline phone numbers for your next of kin, your GP and a list of all medications you currently take.
In the bathroom
The chance of slipping and falling in the bathroom is higher than other rooms – slippery floors, awkward toilet seats and manoeuvring in and out of the bath can all pose a risk, particularly if you are less mobile or become frail. Installing grab rails near the shower and toilet can help prevent falls, as well as placing a non-slip bathmat to provide more grip.
In the bedroom
The bedroom is also a common place for falls to happen, particularly when getting in and out of bed. Check the height of your bed and consider installing bed rails or raisers to make it easier to get in and out of bed. It’s also worth making sure the bedroom is clutter free and well lit.
In the living room
Often, falls are caused by a slip or a trip on the same level, for example over a rug or mat. Take time to make sure your furniture is steady, comfortable and easy to get in and out of. Another tip is to install lever handles on internal doors as they are easier to grasp and use.
On the stairs
Stairs are one of the biggest risks when it comes to falls so there are things you can do to improve safety in this area of your home. Make sure there are solid hand rails in place to grab for balance. Ensure the carpet or runners are firmly fixed down and remove any rugs. Again, ensure the area is well lit during night and day.
Staying safe outdoors
Don’t forget outdoors when it comes to home safety. Think about installing a sturdy rail at each entrance to the home and an outside light to ensure you have the best visibility. Ensure paths are kept free of algae and debris such as slippery leaves, loose stones or flags.
If you would like more information, we have guidance in our staying safe at home brochure.
We can help you stay safe at home
Taking just a few simple steps to stay safe at home can make a big difference to your independence. Being conscious of the health and safety of your loved one, or yourself, means that you can stay living independently at home for longer.