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Aging In Place Safety Checklist

Aging in place is entirely possible but may require a few changes to the home to keep an elderly safe.

Aging in place is entirely possible but may require a few changes to the home to keep an elderly safe. Creating a safe, accessible, and comfortable living environment is paramount. Making the home environment more accessible makes day-to-day living simpler. The motive behind designing and making over of the home should be for convenience.

A guide to safety checklist:

• Enhance the lighting system at home for easy movement. More windows and lighter curtains should be used for better indoor light.
• Remodel the bathroom and its area for safety. In remodeling, curbs should be avoided in the shower
• Encourage stairless entry for easy accessibility. Stairs poses safety problems for seniors, so enhanced technology devices such as stair lift should be installed for easy access in the home in case there is a staircase. This device does not touch the ground like a typical walker, it serves as a floating handlebar and support while the senior climbs the stairs.
• Take away trip and fall dangers. Do not use throw rugs which is a tripping hazard and there should be slip -resistant floors in homes. The lighter the floor colors, the greater the vision.
• Have a bigger hallway. The smaller the doorways, the dangerous it is for an elderly person. The doorways and hallways should be wider enough to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers. There should not be objects like shoes lying around.
• Emergency response system should also be put in place. Smart devices must be used for thermostat, security systems, alarms and locks.
• Secure help for transportation when needed. As driving is a means of independence, it becomes more dangerous when aging. There are more options out there for a senior who is unable to drive to get to wherever they want:

o Taxis, Uber, Lyft
o Senior call-and-ride programs
o A Home Aide or family member can equally be of help
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Lorraine Arkaifie, MSN, AGPCNP-BC
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