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Age and chronic illness almost inevitably bring changes in physical mobility. For the millions of seniors who fall each year, these simple changes can lead to debilitating injury. If you or a loved one are learning to cope with decreased mobility associated with aging, however, you’ve got good reasons to stay positive. Fortunately, for every change that affects your physical mobility, there is a simple modification that you can make to avoid any danger. The following home modifications won’t just keep you and your loved ones safer, they will make seniors more comfortable and increase their quality of life.
Tripping is one of the most common (and preventable) causes of injury in the elderly. Fortunately, most tripping hazards in the average home can be resolved within minutes. Throw rugs are particularly hazardous but can be easily removed. At the very least, make sure that hallways and other high-traffic paths are free from any obstructions that could become wrinkled or bunched up, creating an uneven and hazardous floor space.
For those who use a cane, walker or other mobility device, furniture placement is key to maintaining a comfortable and safe living area. Low furniture, such as coffee tables, stools and ottomans, are particularly troublesome, as they may be hard to see and can easily catch on walkers and other devices as they go by. As a rule, a safe living area provides easy, unobstructed passage.
Conversely, not all seniors with mobility impairments are willing to use an assistive device. Though such devices are the best means to prevent falls and accidents, respect must also be shown to each individual’s desire for independence. Can such a balance be found? If your loved one is adamant in their refusal to use an assistive device, sturdy furniture can be closely arranged to allow for safe passage from one object to another. Though such an arrangement is far from ideal, it may be a necessary compromise for those who desire to maintain independent mobility.
Since extension cords and lamp cables are also common causes of trips and falls, their placement should be a prime concern. By arranging lamps close to wall outlets, you avoid the risk of a cord that crosses a walking path. Though lighting for the middle of large room should ideally be mounted on the ceiling, there are safe alternatives for those who prefer standing lamps. Your safest and most convenient option is to replace standard lightbulbs with battery powered LED bulbs. These lamps can last for several weeks of normal usage before requiring new batteries, and they do not use any dangerous cords.
Though few seniors are interested in keeping up with the latest technology, a well set up smart home is simpler to use than any other design. By allowing lights and appliances to be turned on or off with a word, you prevent unnecessarily tiring and potentially dangerous trips across the home. With seemingly infinite options hitting the market every day, this may be the most promising field for seniors living at home.
What plans do you have for your home? At Fedelta Home Care, we’re eager to help you make the perfect plan that will guarantee you and your loved one’s safety and comfort. For consultation and information about our diverse home care services, contact us today.