“What kind of things can I do to make my home safe and comfortable as I age?”
Everyone wants to feel safe at home. We may encounter threats to our safety as we age, but there are solutions. “You’ll have to invest something,” advises Jane Bryce, General Manager at The Wexford Seniors Community in Tsawwassen, BC. “It might be time, money, effort or sweat. But feeling safe and confident in your home is worth it.”
Jane recommends seven things seniors can do to ensure their safety at home.
Stay fit. An active lifestyle impacts balance, flexibility, bone density, muscle tone and mobility. Good fitness ensures you can respond quickly and confidently in an emergency.
Stay in touch. A mobile phone monitored personal safety pendant, or even a smartwatch that is with you all the time, can ensure you’re able to connect when you need to.
Eliminate tripping hazards. Uneven flooring, pets that are prone to get underfoot, unstable furniture, throw or area rugs can all lead to a fall.
Prioritize bathroom safety. Easy-entry tubs and showers, raised toilets, stable shower/tub seats and secure grab bars all ensure a feeling of confidence in the washroom.
Sober second thought. Everyone is vulnerable to scammers: on the phone, online and even at the front door. Think twice before giving away personal information, engaging with high-pressure salespeople, or answering the door to a stranger.
Daily check-ins. Arrange with a neighbour or family member to connect daily to ensure everything is okay. A phone call, a visit, or even a raised blind in a window can all ensure that in an emergency, someone will check in.
Invest in home security. A security system, keyless entry locks and fencing can deter criminals and reinforce feelings of safety.
“The desire to feel safe at home is one of the reasons many of our residents move in. They want to worry less and instead focus on living well,” says Jane. “And when parents worry less, so do their kids. That kind of peace of mind is priceless.”