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8 tips for making your home safer

Making your home safer

Older adults want to stay as independent for as long as possible and the best ways to do this is to adapt their home to make it safer from accidents and more secure. From ensuring you have quality locks on the front/back doors to having anti-slip bath mats and fixing rugs to the floor so they aren’t a trip hazard, there are lots of things you can do.

This guide looks at some of the best things people can do to ensure their home is as secure as possible and that it is safe to grow old in.

For safety

Install a stairlift

Install a stairlift

For those of you who wish to stay independent and to live in your original home, installing a stairlift is one of the best things you can do.

As we grow old it is natural that we are less mobile, and this means that things like walking up the stairs become more challenging. By installing a stairlift this helps make the upstairs of houses accessible and means that older people do not need to move to a smaller house or to a bungalow to stay independent.

Statistics have shown that many older adults sustain injuries or fall while they are in the comfort of their own home and stairs are one of the most dangerous areas of a house.

Buying a new stairlift will keep you safe as it eliminates the risk of tripping on a step or slipping down the stairs. Modern stairlifts will also come with a battery backup so that it will still work despite a power outage in the area.

Check your gas and fire alarms

Smoke alarm

In terms of safety, besides having intruders in mind, something that can be forgotten is to check your gas and fire alarms.

Checking gas and fire alarms is especially important for those with mobility problems as this will not only alert yourself to any problems but will alert neighbours and passers-by as well.

Dmitri Karamarinov, a coordinator at the home maintenance service Fantastic Handyman, says, “Regardless if at home or out, to test and maintain your smoke and carbon detectors is an absolute must. Change your batteries in time and carry a regular test.”

Buy fixing rugs or get rid of them

Buy fixing rugs or get rid of them

While rugs can look great in rooms, they do present a danger to older adults as the edges and raised spots can be a tripping hazard.

They really are not worth risking a serious fall so instead, you can offer the rugs to friends and loved ones or put them into a storage space so they are not lying around waiting for you to trip over them.

Alternatively, you can buy non-slip rugs or double-sided tape to ensure the rugs don’t curl up and don’t move around. This means that you can keep your favourite rug and reduce the risk of tripping over it.

Non-slip bath mats

Non-slip bath mats

To improve safety in the bathroom you should look to purchase non-slip bath mats to help you when getting in and out of the bath or shower.

Falling while getting in and out of the bath is a common issue, but with a bath mat, you will minimise this risk. There are lots of places you can buy these type of mats and they will be available in a variety of sizes, colours and designs.

Here are some places you can buy non-slip bath mats:

Make necessary modifications

Make necessary modifications to your home

Adapting a home to make it safer for older people is important but making these alterations doesn’t mean that they have to be dull and boring. Instead, they can be stylish and comfortable for all ages.

Some of the alterations you should consider include:

  • Making doorways wider for wheelchairs
  • Installing a raised toilet seat
  • Buying a shower chair
  • Ensuring switches and controls are at a reachable height

For security

Make sure your windows are secure

Make sure your windows are secure

If you want to make your home safe and secure then Dmitri Karamarinov recommends making a few changes to your windows.

“If you live at ground level, it is mandatory to take care of your windows both when at home or away.

“The easy way is to use good old regular curtains but if you still want to both enjoy the light and keep people away, you could use one-way vision privacy film. Such a product can even take things a step further and help you reduce glare and UV radiation.

“And if security is a bigger priority rather than covering for your absence, it is sturdy roller blinds that can prevent the classic break-in. Well-installed quality security roller blinds are extremely hard to penetrate. Another handy piece of advice is to take care of all windows in your home, including the basement and garage, not to mention keeping them locked at night.

“To take care of all windows could be what draws attention or not. Last but not least, a simple window stop could be the last obstacle to hinder the stubborn burglar. If well-installed, one or a few stoppers could make the window impossible to open.”

Front or back door safety tips

Front or back door safety tips

Fantastic Handyman’s Dmitri Karamarinov says there are a number of things you can do to your doors to make sure your home is more secure.

“If your door has a mail slot, make sure that no hand nor instrument could sneak in to grab keys hanging or flip a lock. The best way is to use an actual letterbox. It could also protect your mail from playful pets.

“If you live in a house, keep your door well illuminated at night. Burglars move mostly in the dark and simple motion-ran security lights could make the difference between a determined thief and the one that backs out.”

Other home improvements to help keep it secure

Fantastic Handyman says there are lots of other home improvements you can follow to help you keep burglars away:

  • CCTV and surveillance - sometimes a fake camera with a red blinking dot could scare intruders away
  • A dog - there is no better alarm than a 24/7 guardian
  • Sturdy metal doors with good locks
  • Motion-activated lighting

This news article is from Companion Stairlifts. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.