Creating a safe environment inside and outside of your home is important. This will allow you to continue to do the things you want to as you age. Home maintenance and keeping your backyard safe is necessary to prevent falls. It is important that you feel safe at home.
What can you do to keep safe at home?
- Always lock your doors behind you - front, back and side doors
- Ensure your doors have strong dead bolt locks
- Install door handles that are easy to use, with a lever action rather than a round knob
- Make sure you have working smoke alarms – in order to remember to change the batteries you could change it every year on a particular date like your birthday
- Ensure your house is well lit – install a light switch near each entrance
- Install automated lighting controls
- Install higher power points to avoid unnecessary bending
- Install hand rails and grab rails that are sturdy and securely fastened in high risk areas such as the bathroom and toilet
- Remove rugs and clutter and any other trip hazards, ensure electrical cords are secured away from walkways and not underneath rugs and furniture
- Install non-slip flooring and place non-slip mats in the shower and bath
- Place readily used items in easy to reach places
- Wear well fitted clothes and footwear to avoid falls
- Sit down to dress to increase stability and safety
- Keep a lamp and torch on your bed side table – handy for night time bathroom trips
- Keep a phone nearby at all times, including when you’re in bed
- Place emergency numbers and your address on each phone, the fridge and also add it to your mobile phone
- Purchase sturdy and secure chairs and couches with armrests that are not too low or deep, so you can get in and out of them easily. A sturdy firm cushion could be added to increase height.
- Consider a medical alert system
- Always get up slowly after sitting or lying down. Take your time and stay close to the chair or bed if you feel unbalanced
A key safe is a small combination box that you can attach to a wall outside your house in case of emergency.
Personal response system (PRS)
A PRS is a medical alert commonly worn around your neck, which is to be pressed in case of emergency. The alert is connected to a device on your phone and will call stored numbers of your choice before calling the ambulance. It is a great device to use for safety, especially if living home alone.
Occupational therapy home visits
Occupational therapists can visit your house for a home assessment, to assist in improving the safety of your home through practical suggestions, equipment and home modification recommendations. Please contact Age at Home Australia for more information.
Age at Home Australia can complete a thorough Assessment of your home to determine modifications that will increase your safety at home. Please contact us for further information.
The use of items such as a long handled sponge and long handled reacher can increase independence and safety in the home. An Occupational Therapist can discuss the suitability of equipment with you.
Activities should be based on time and not exhaustion. If you pace your activity during the day with frequent rest periods, your productivity will increase whilst remaining safe.
Help and Resources
- LifeTec: Emergency Call Systems – 1300 885 886
- Improving Home Safety for Seniors