According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans over age 65 is expected to double, reaching 72 million by 2030. And when it comes to their homes, the National Association of Home Builders reports that this generation is no longer downsizing or moving in with family. Instead, most are choosing to live on their own — updating their current homes or purchasing homes with amenities to meet their changing needs.
As this generation of baby boomers reaches their golden years, creating a safe home environment becomes very important. Although the home is a place of comfort and security, it can also be a dangerous space. Slips, trips, falls and other injuries are more likely as one ages, due to decreased mobility. In fact, those over the age of 70 are the largest group injured by falls in the home each year. So when preparing your home for the golden years, there are many ways to ensure that each room in the house is comfortable and secure, so you can live safe, sound and solo.
Stairs and Hallways
Stairs and hallways are two areas of a home where most falls occur. To increase safety in these areas, make sure each hallway is well lit so you can see any obstacles in your path. Remove throw rugs that can become tripping hazards and never use the stairs to house decorative objects. Finally, be sure that each stairwell has hand rails on both sides.
A simple way to add this safety feature is with decorative hand grips. Home Care by Moen offers attractive-looking 9-inch grips that install easily and blend in with your decor. With these simple updates youll be able to navigate pathways with confidence.
As we get older, trips to the restroom tend to become more frequent. While this may not be an issue during the daytime, navigating from the bed to the bathroom in the middle of the night can be dangerous — especially if the bathroom is not located close by. For added security, consider purchasing a bedside commode.
According to the Home Safety Council, falls are the leading cause (66 percent) of all nonfatal home injuries. With the water and slick surfaces, the bathroom is a frequent location for these falls. Luckily, there are many updates to the bath that can provide older adults with the added security and independence they desire.
Studies show that adults over age 60 often have difficulty getting in and out of the shower or bathtub. To combat this issue, the Home Safety Council recommends homeowners install grab bars surrounding the shower or tub area.
SecureMount Grab Bars from Home Care provide an extra hand when entering and exiting the tub or shower. Plus they feature a unique anchor installation system that allows homeowners to install grab bars quickly and easily anywhere on the wall — without the need for a stud — for the ultimate in safety and peace of mind.
If additional help is needed beyond grab bars, a transfer bench may be an additional tool to consider. Products such as Home Cares new Premium Transfer Bench offer sturdy and comfortable construction for a transfer into the bathtub that is easy and worry-free.
In addition, the Home Safety Council recommends installing non-slip strips to the bottom of the tub, using a bathmat with a non-skid bottom near the tub or shower, and always keeping the floor dry to avoid potential slippery spots.
With a few updates to the danger zones of the home you can be sure that no matter what your age, you can feel safe. Youll be able to live the independent lifestyle you choose and your loved ones will have the peace of mind that these safety precautions are in place.