If you have an elderly loved one who lives alone, there's a good chance you worry about him or her on a regular basis. You worry about your loved one accidentally slipping and falling, especially in a home with stairs. While you're always going to worry about the ones you love, there are some steps you can take to make your beloved senior's home a little safer, thus reducing the chances of an accidental injury.
Installing a Wheelchair Ramp
If your loved one uses a wheelchair occasionally or is permanently wheelchair-bound, you might want to consider replacing traditional stairs with a wheelchair ramp on the exterior of the home. This applies not only to front porches, but to stairs leading into garages and even back decks or patios. A ramp will allow your loved one to easily and safely maneuver outside the home without having to get out of the wheelchair or receive help.
Switching to a Walk-In Tub
A common cause of slip-and-fall accidents for seniors in their own homes is slippery surfaces, such as slick showers and bath tubs. Make it easier for your loved one to climb in and out of a tub or shower by retrofitting the bathroom with a walk-in tub. This will prevent your loved one from having to step over a high tub edge, thus reducing their chances of slipping in the process.
Hiring a Yard Care Specialist
If your senior has trouble with mobility, now is a good time to start having outdoor maintenance taken care of by a professional. Consider hiring a yard care specialist to mow the lawn as needed during the summer, and find another service (or even a neighbor) to come by during the winter and spread salt on walkways, stairs, and ramps. Doing so will reduce the chances of your loved one slipping on snow or ice outside the home.
Installing a Stair Lift
If your loved one's home has stairs that need to be navigated (for example, your loved one's bedroom is on the second floor), then you'll definitely want to consider installing a chair lift from a company like Twin City Stair Lifts that will safely transport a person up and down the stairs as needed. These stair lifts can usually be retrofitted into just about any staircase configuration and rely on a motor to comfortably carry seniors up and down the stairs, saving them from dangerous tripping hazards.