Making Home Safe for Seniors
As loved ones grow older, they commonly must lean on those closest to them for the care and support they need. Oftentimes, however, families struggle with the best ways to keep relatives safe. If you are considering making adjustments to your own home or adapting that of a loved one, you aren’t alone. Read on to learn more about how Coggin Security, Inc. can help you make a home safe for seniors.
5 Ways You Can Help An Aging Loved One Feel Safe
There are a number of different ways – both big and small – to make home safer for an aging relative. However, one of the best places to start is simply by removing the safety hazards that are often unintentionally overlooked. We recommend addressing these common risks in and around your loved one’s home:
Provide An Emergency PERS Device
With personal emergency response systems (PERS) from Coggin Security, Inc., you can have peace of mind knowing that your loved ones are safe. In the event of an emergency, help can be reached and on their way in a matter of minutes at the push of a button. Available in necklaces and bracelets, our emergency PERS devices help aging relatives feel safe with a direct line of contact that’s always with them.
Protect Against a Potential Fire
U.S. fire departments respond to one home every 88 seconds. Fire protection is an important part of making any home safe, however, it is even more crucial for seniors who may not be able to move as well in the event of an emergency. The best fire protection is having a reliable system for home security. Myrtle Beach residents can depend on Coggin Security, Inc. to help keep their families safe in case the worst should happen.
To start, our security experts recommend taking simple precautions such as replacing the batteries in all of your alarms including smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. As a general rule of thumb, you should replace your batteries twice per year, when switching to daylight savings time and again when moving back to daylight standard time, and any time the battery is low.
Replace any frayed or damaged electric cords with new ones. If possible, try to limit the number of cords plugged into the electrical outlets around the home. Consider replacing candles with a diffuser or incense to prevent an accidental fire while still making your loved one feel at home. Avoid the use of space heaters whenever possible, however, always make sure to keep any heaters at least three feet away from blankets, bedding, curtains, or other furniture whenever use is necessary.
To learn more about how you can keep your loved ones safe and prepared in case of an emergency, click here to view our homeowner’s guide to fire protection.
Adjust Lighting Around the Home
Aging eyes may not work quite like they used to. Maintaining a well-lit home can help keep your loved ones from a dangerous fall. Encourage your loved one to keep a flashlight on their bedroom dresser in case they need to reach for it. Place nightlights or motion-detecting lights inside and outside the home to prevent an aging relative from having to search for light switches in the dark. Pay special attention to frequented areas such as bedrooms, hallways, bathrooms, garages, and exterior entrances.
As you are doing your routine home safety checks, be sure to replace any burnt-out light bulbs. The brighter the room, the less likely it is that your loved one may fall. Keep in mind that custom lighting solutions can easily be incorporated into any smart home security system. At the push of a button, these security systems can be tailored with automated actions such as turning the lights on and off and adjusting brightness to prevent a loved one from slipping.
Keep Seniors Safe in the Home
Once you have removed safety hazards from around the home, it’s important to review basic safety measures with your relative. Make sure your loved one is aware of any going scams targeting seniors. Install a mailslot and peephole in your loved’s front door. Encourage seniors to avoid opening the door for unknown persons. Always keep windows and doors locked. If your loved one is prone to forgetfulness, smart locks provide remote access to your doors even when they aren’t there.
Ask your senior to call you or a professional before taking on any odd jobs like cleaning, maintenance, or repair work. Make sure to frequently check-in with your senior, or have a neighbor occasionally drop by to make sure that they are safe. Coggin Security Inc. provides 24/7 home monitoring with live streaming security cameras inside the home so that you can make sure your loved one is safe even when you can’t be there.
Reduce the Risk Of a Fall
Accidental slips and falls are the leading cause of senior injuries. By removing fall hazards, you can help create an open, safe environment for better mobility and maneuverability. As you are surveying the home for potential risks, be sure to:
- Replace throw rugs that could slide with a one that has a rubber backing to grip the floor.
- Clean up any piles of clutter, toys, debris, or any other tripping hazards.
- Replace chairs that have wheels that have the potential to roll.
- Remove loose cords or extension cords around the room.
- Replace slippery floors like tile or add a non-slip wax finish.
- Widen any door or walkways that are narrower than 32 inches across.
- Use lever handles in place of traditional doorknobs, especially round knobs.
- Install a stairlift if possible. Differentiating stairs with colorful duct tape and the use of stair rails can also help prevent falling on the stairs.
- Make sure items are easily accessible without having to reach.
With an abundance of wet, slippery surfaces, bathrooms are a frequent problem area for aging residents. However, you can implement several low-cost safety tips including the use of textured, no-slip strips in the bathtub and/or shower, waterproof chairs or benches, grab bars, hand-held showerheads, and rubber-backed bath mats. If possible, consider replacing any frequently used toilets in the home with a specialized high profile toilet to further reduce the risk of a fall.
We know that keeping loved ones safe is no easy feat. However, delegating these safety precautions amongst family members and close friends can make the process much easier. And, of course, remember that Coggin Security is here to help however we can.
Coggin’s trusted security systems can be easily accessed on your mobile or tablet device with the Total Connect App so that you can keep an eye on your parents or grandparents even when you can’t be there. Give our Myrtle Beach security team a call today to learn more about our senior security solutions with a complimentary consultation.