How to make your home safe for Senior Citizens

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A few years ago, as my father-in-law stepped out of the bathroom after washing his feet, he slipped on the floor mat outside his bathroom door. This slip resulted in a hip fracture, which required a hip replacement.

Last month my friend’s mother-in-law had a similar fall. A crushed hip bone and a grievously injured head were the results. She is bedridden and still recovering.

When a baby is born we see to it that we take adequate measures to make a house safe for it. So that the baby does not hurt itself as it crawls about, full of curiosity.

If you have senior citizens living at home, why shouldn’t you make changes to make the house safe and comfortable for them?

As people grow older they become slower, their eyesight and hearing suffers as does their co-ordination. This is also a stage when they take offense to help offered and assert their independence. Simple steps taken to makes changes in their living space would go a long way in making them comfortable and letting them be independent.

The older one is, the longer recovery takes and the more painful it is. Wouldn’t it be best therefore to try and avoid injuries and accidents as much as we can?


 These are some changes you could make;

Skid proof floor and bathroom mats: Available in any big departmental store, these skid proof mats are a savior, for senior citizens and everyone at home. They prevent skidding, falls and major accidents.

Grab Bars: Installing grab bars at the right places in the bathroom, room, near staircase and in passages will prevent falls and make walking, getting up and sitting down easier. You could get grab bars at hardware and sanitation stores. 

Footwear : Light weight, well fitted footwear, with skid proof soles help make walking and moving about the house accident proof . Hush Puppies and Dr Scholl, are the two brands I have tried and tested and I am happy with.

Night light: Senior sleep is often sparse and frequently interrupted. A small night light in their room could help them feel better, and less disoriented if they wake up abruptly.

A torch/ penlight: If a night light is not an option then a torch /penlight could be placed by the bedside. It would serve the purpose of a night light.

A remote buzzer: Available in any electronic shop, this buzzer will see to it that they could summon help instantly, in case of an emergency. Place it at arm’s length when they sleep or relax, or let them carry it with them, especially to the bathroom.

Spill proof and unbreakable bottles: As one grows older there is muscle degeneration, resulting in losing grip and strength. Light-weight , unbreakable and spill proof bottles and tumblers by their bedside will ensure that  they feel comfortable using them. Currently, Tupperware is the best and most easily available option.

These are just a few suggestions. I am sure there are many more measures that could be taken. Do share your suggestions and ideas in comments.

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