How Handrails Can Improve Senior Safety in the Home
Handrails can save your independence. Remember, a fall to an elderly person can mean much more than an injury. A broken hip or shoulder can mean months of recuperation and rehab, and it may mean the end of their independence. If your senior parent is already prone to falling, it’s a good idea to talk to them about measures to ensure their safety. It’s better to err on the side of caution than to have to rush to the emergency room with an injured senior.
If you, as a senior, or your senior parents live independently, it is of vital importance to install handrails in the bathrooms they use. Their lives may depend on it. In fact, tubs should have two handrails – one that can be reached from a sitting position and another for when they’re standing. It is also a good idea to have a third handrail or grip outside the tub that they can use while getting in and out.
Replace cabinet knobs with handles. Arthritis and stiff joints make grabbing small round knobs on cabinet drawers and doors difficult too. Replace these small knobs with C- or D-shaped pulls, which let you tuck your fingers around them, making it easier to open the door or drawer. Adding new pulls and handles is a quick, inexpensive way to update a kitchen while making it more comfortable, safe and convenient to use.
I installed one of these rails for my elderly neighbor who had previously taken a fall. She had no rails on her walls, and I was afraid she would fall again if she accidentally tripped or stumbled. The rail was very easy to install. I followed the directions and took me less than an hour. Very strong and sturdy. I am ordering another one for her since she wants one on the other side of the step.
How this can help seniors:
There are many ways to prevent people from falling in your home. Installing handrails on stairs is one of them. The more handrails you have, the lower your risk of falling and being injured will be.
The handrails for exterior stairs typically end at the bottom step. But stepping off the bottom step (or preparing to step up on it) is actually when someone is the most off balance and likely to fall. Simple Rail handrail kits make it easy for to build an extended handrail that fits any stairway.
Sometimes people are reluctant to add grab bars because they think it will make their home look institutional. But you can find stylish and sturdy grab bars in many shapes, sizes and finishes, and some serve double duty as towel racks, toilet paper holders, corner shelves and more. The peace of mind that it is there when needed is worth the investment alone.
Quick tips for ensuring a safer home for seniors:
Tip #1 – Build a close friends circle. Senior isolation is one of the single most dangerous things for seniors who live alone. Isolation and loneliness go hand-in-hand for many seniors, and it’s a potentially life-threatening mixture.
Tip #2 – Develop a disaster kit. Ideal for tending to one’s own needs while help arrives, this simple little disaster kit can make severe weather or rolling blackouts easier for a senior to endure on their own.
Tip #3 – Install a peephole in the door. Seniors are often targeted by scammers and thieves. It’s smart for all seniors to install peepholes so they can keep tabs on who is knocking before deciding to open the door.
Tip #4 – Develop a list of emergency contacts. To ensure safety in the event of an accident, all seniors should develop a list of emergency contacts kept by the phone. It should include their medical professionals, family, and friends.
A chair in the shower can help prevent slips and falls. Want to know more about shower chair assistance? Read the next article!