Safety Assessments Of Homes Essential For Older Adults

May 24, 2017

By Laurel Whalen
Outpatient Physical Therapist, Jerome Home

Over time, a lovely home may no longer be the safest home for an aging adult. Instead, it may become a dangerous obstacle course challenging mobility and safety.

Common items, including slippery throw rugs, electrical cords and long bedspreads, as well as poorly lit rooms can all cause falls and injuries. Other dangers can involve household cleaning products, kitchen appliances, uneven walking surfaces, improper foot wear, or stairs.

Simple modifications can ensure a safe environment to enable an older person to live safely at home. Some actions are easy such as removing scatter rugs, marking the edges of steps with bright tape, locking up chemicals and prescription medicines and eliminating clutter.

Other changes may require the services of a professional for projects such as installing grab bars in the shower, exit door alarms if the resident is prone to wandering and less slippery floor materials and installing a stair glide or ramp.

Senior services professionals, including physical or occupational therapists, can be an excellent resource for assessing the safety and accessibility of a residence.

By reviewing the individual’s abilities and limitations, recommendations can be made to modify the living environment for security and peace of mind.

For more information about safety in the home, call Jerome Home Outpatient Rehabilitation Services at 860.356.8266 or the Hartford HealthCare Center for Healthy Aging at The Hospital of Central Connecticut, New Britain campus at 860.224.5284Jerome Home, in New Britain, is a not-for-profit member of Hartford HealthCare.