Where are the HIDDEN HAZARDS for at home seniors?

There could be hidden hazards to your aging loved one in their home. It is essential to recognize and remedy these hazards to keep your senior safe at home.

Home is not always a sweet home. There could be hidden hazards to your aging loved one in their very own home. It is essential that these hazards are recognized and remedied to keep your senior safe and sound at home.

1. Stairs

Stairs can pose a dangerous risk if they aren’t carefully evaluated. Falls are the most common cause of injury and death in individuals over age 65. There are several factors that can contribute to a fall on a stairway including steep stairs, lack of railing and stairs in poor condition.

Tips to minimize risk on stairs:

  • Add railings to both sides of stairways

  • Make sure railings are secure and in good condition

  • Ensure stairway is well lit with light switches at the top and bottom

2. Lighting

Having a well-lit home can help seniors get around better and prevent them from falling, reading labels incorrectly and tripping over items in the bathroom or walkways.

Tips to minimize risk with lighting:

  • Have a night light for all bathrooms

  • Ensure there is bright lighting in areas where medication is stored, so the label can be read easily

  • Check that the proper light bulbs and wattage are used throughout the home

  • Make sure there is adequate lighting in the kitchen, especially around the stove and oven area and where knives or sharp appliances may be used

3. Flooring

Slippery floors or worn out rugs can cause an older individual to slip and fall or prevent them from moving around in a walker or wheelchair. Keep floors in good repair to prevent injury and allow them to maintain their mobility.

Tips to minimize risk with flooring:

  • Keep floors clean and dry

  • Use nonskid mats on the bathroom floor

  • Update carpets if needed; low pile carpet is best

  • Use rugs sparingly and properly secure them to the floor

4. Bathtub and Shower

Getting in and out of the bathtub or shower can be tricky and create a potential safety hazard. Water adds an extra slippery element and steps in showers or tubs can make this an especially challenging area.

Tips to minimize risk with bathtubs and showers:

  • Skid-proof the bathtub and make sure bath mats have a non-slip bottom