Happy April Fool’s Day! We, at EZ-ACCESS, are taking this opportunity to remind you that accessible home safety is no joking matter. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just released statistics stating “one in three adults aged 65 and older fall each year and 20-30% of these falls lead to moderate or severe injuries” so take action now. Evaluate your home or the home of your aging loved ones for safety concerns and get these issues address immediately.
Here are a few tips for evaluating a home today:
For entryways, you are focused completely on what it takes to get into the home safely. Take a close look at how well lit the entrance is, how easy it is to get to the front door, how easily can the individual unlock and use the door handle and what the welcome mat situation is. A common hazard we come across is welcome mats that easily shift around, making them easy to trip on.
Inside the entryway, predict what your loved one will be doing. If they take off their shoes and hang up their coat, evaluate how they can safely do this. You may consider adding a sturdy bench.
Just the floor alone can be highly dangerous. If your home has wood or tiled flooring, the surface can often be slick, and if you’ve placed throw rugs or mats down, go ahead and call the ambulance. When it comes to rugs or mats, either use adhesive strips to stick them to the floor or remove them entirely. For carpeting, make sure the carpet is in good shape and not balling up or rolling in areas.
While you are down evaluating the floor, make sure to check the outlets, cords and extension cords. We typically discourage the use of extension cords or cords running under walkways as these can be dangerous tripping hazards. If you’re willing do a little electrical work on the home, consider installing outlets at mid-room level for easy access, less bending and less cord hazards.
Also, use this time to evaluate the indoor lighting. Check that hallways and doors are well lit, and that light switches are accessible and easy for your loved one to use.
Continue walking through your accessible home evaluation by reading our next blog post “Home Accessibility is No Joke: Home Safety Evaluation – Part 2,” covering kitchens, bathrooms and basic maintenance!