Keep Frequently Used Tools Close By
You can be prepared for day-to-day events, such as messes within the home, by keeping cleaning supplies and protective gloves in frequently used rooms and having a clean set of sheets and clothing readily available.
Safety-Proof the Home
Most homes are not prepared for the unique needs of someone with health challenges, resulting in an unsafe environment that might lead to falls or accidents. Making a few safety-oriented home improvements can help you and your loved one maintain independence.
General Tips for Avoiding Falls
- Remove throw rugs and mats, especially in the bathroom, kitchen, and at the top and bottom of stairways.
- Fasten cords along the perimeter of rooms.
- Test furniture for stability.
- Ensure hallways are properly lit and consider night-lights in rooms like the bathroom and kitchen.
- Make sure there is a light switch at the top and bottom of stairways.
- Install handrails along hallways and both sides of stairways (both indoors and outdoors).
- Avoid patterned carpet on stairs, which can make it difficult to distinguish between steps.
In the Kitchen
- Ensure there is enough light at the sink, range and countertops, and that light switches are available at all entrances.
- Unplug appliances on the counters when not in use, and move away from the sink.
- Clear the area around the stovetop, making sure that no objects are within reach of the burners (i.e., curtains, potholders, paper towels).
- Place frequently used items in cabinets that are easily accessible, limiting the need to reach high up or down low.
- Keep knives and other sharp objects properly stored, adjusting access to the needs of your loved one.
In the Bathroom
- Put in a secure seat and non-skid floor mats in the shower, and consider a walk-in tub.
- Install grab bars inside and outside the shower and near the toilet to assist with sitting and standing.
- Ensure towels are within reach of the shower in order to dry off before exiting.
- Place a phone within reach of the toilet and shower in case of emergencies.
- Elevate the toilet seat and make sure toilet paper is easily accessible while sitting.
- Consider a colored toilet seat or change the paint color in the bathroom to a contrasting color for individuals with depth perception problems.
- Try to ensure that the bathroom door opens out (not in) and that it can be unlocked from the outside.