Ageing is an inevitable life process that every individual goes through. Whether young or old, safety-proofing your home is relevant and it’s never too late to start.
In a place where everyone spends most of their time indoors, people would desire to age well within the walls of their humble abode. How do you maintain a safe environment for you and your loved ones? You may first want to start with the doors of your home. Ask yourselves, can a wheelchair go through this door? It will be great to know that you can be mobile around the house in a wheelchair without any assistance.
We’ve got every nook and cranny of a home covered here. Let’s move to the different spaces in a typical Asian home.
This is the first place people see when they come in through the doors of a home. Especially in the Asian context, this is also a place where family and friends frequently gather together in camaraderie.
- Start by decluttering the space by getting rid of decorative items that may crowd corners and arrange furniture so that they are not in the way, to prevent potential mishaps such as knocking down a decorative vase or breaking precious china.
- Get sofas or couches that do not have gaps in between the couch and the floor, so you would not risk tripping over a pet or items you may have dropped that may go under the sofa.
- Get strong chairs with armrests and at the proper height, so that you can get up safely and so that transfers can be supported as you move in and out of a chair.
- Ensure rugs and carpets are secured and grip onto the floor so they don’t move when stepped on.
Did you just say…food? We spend most of our time in the kitchen more than anywhere else in the house, cooking and entertaining hungry family members during reunion dinners and open houses. Spills, mess, and everything in between, it’s also the place where people are most prone to falls.
- Ever been in a situation where you suddenly gasped in horror because you forgot to turn off the stove? Consider putting an alarm on your phone for the time you desire or consider getting a nifty induction cooktop that will help automatically turn down the heat.
- Instead of using the “twist and turn” water faucet, get the ones that only have a “single lever” handle instead that will be a great alternative for seniors.
- Make sure kitchen countertops are placed at a good height so that it’ll be easy for people to reach for ingredients.
- Make sure water spots and spills are cleaned up quickly so that there will be no room for accidents.
There is a high chance seniors are at risk of falling and minor accidents in the bathroom. Designing a well thought out bathroom space for seniors will not only be a case of prevention-is-better-than-cure but will give family members peace of mind in the long run.
- Grab bars are effective tools as last-minute saves in case of a fall. You can install grab bars beside the toilet and in the shower.
- A good tip would be to remove mirrors in the bathroom. It can be daunting for seniors showing signs of early dementia to see an unfamiliar face staring back at them.
- Rubber mats are your floor’s best friend to prevent slips.
- A hand-held shower head would go a long way when cleaning hard to reach places.
Humans spend ⅓ of their lives sleeping, and as we progressively age, the bedroom is where we would be most of the time if mobility is an issue. So we should definitely invest more in this room.
- Try sitting on your bed. Can your feet touch the floor? If your feet cannot touch the floor, your bed is too high for you. This may pose a hazard when doing manual transfer. Similarly, an indication your bed is too low is if your knees are higher than your hips while you sit. In that case, try getting a thicker mattress or a box spring.
- Make sure to get firmer mattresses — sunken mattresses can trap seniors and require much more effort getting out from on a daily basis.
- It’s not something that is not given much thought but placing a flashlight and a little bell in the bedside drawer is very helpful for emergencies in case you have a fall and need to call for immediate help and cannot verbalize or call out for help because of your injury.
- Keep a list of emergency numbers in the drawer as well just in case you forget.
Outdoor Area and Garden
Getting some fresh air is a wholesome activity for seniors to just enjoy the quiet and stillness of their surroundings.
- Ensure the garden is well kept and wild bushes or trees are pruned and trimmed periodically to keep wild animals such as snakes or lizards at bay.
- People are always prone to tripping on the garden water hose, make sure to tuck them nicely in a corner for easier storage.
- Consider vertical gardens that are more convenient for seniors who are less agile and find it hard to bend their knees while gardening. Vertical gardens also receive more sunshine and take up very little space.
- A good habit is to ensure that your mobile phone is close by just in case so that you can get the necessary assistance in case of a fall or any sudden ailments.
Home is where the heart is
As you plan ahead for your home, we hope these tips will enable you to live in a secure and comfortable space, whether it be indoors or outdoors. By keeping these in mind, you can then create a space where memories can be shared and families build their lives together in a safe and secure environment.
Ever worry about your loved ones back at home when you are away at work or miles apart from each other? Worry no more, as we are here to provide our services that include personal and nursing care tailored to your loved one’s needs. Call us at 016-2992188 to find out how we can assist.