Everyone wants to feel safe in their homes, especially seniors.
When a fall or other medical emergency could be detrimental, proper safety precautions are a must. It’s potentially the difference between living your life as you please and having to scale back your activities.
If you’re looking to remain in your current home, refer to a safety checklist to make sure that your place is ready to serve your needs as you age. If it can’t pass the test, it might be time to move into a safer environment that still protects your independence: independent living.
Independent Living Community Safety Features
Because independent living communities are built for seniors, they have safety features already installed so that you don’t have to run out to the hardware store every time that you think something is unsafe. It gives a little peace of mind for you and your loved ones to know that you’ll be taken care of.
There are a few gotta-have-it safety features that you should look for when shopping for independent living homes. Some of them should be in every independent living home (if they’re not, then move on to the next one!), but others are new and inventive ways to keep you safe in a way that preserves your independence far more than the old-fashioned ways.
This one should be a given. Even though there will be staff members around to call for help, stairs are best to be avoided lest you fall. Stairs are the most treacherous feature of a home for anyone, and that is not decreased as you age. In order to avoid injuries, it’s best to find a place that is ranch style.
Floors can get slick whenever it rains, snows, or otherwise precipitates. To prevent slipping, tripping, or falling, precautions should be taken to make the floors as non-slip as possible. Carpet and vinyl are excellent floor choices with minimal slip risks, but further precautions can be added. A few ribbed mats by every entrance will remind people to wipe their feet and avoid tracking water throughout your home. If you opt to add protection to your hardwood floors by purchasing an area rug, be sure to secure the edges to avoid tripping.
Extra caution should be taken in the bathroom, where tile rules the floor market, only to be soaked with bathwater. Rubber mats are an easy way to wage a war on slippery floors: you simply lay them down by your bathtubs, showers, toilets, and sinks, and you’re done.
Grab bars near any potentially slippery surfaces
Even with non-slip surfaces, grab bars are necessary. Ever slipped on a shower mat? I know I have. It’s best to plan for the worst and have these installed than to be in a difficult situation later. There should be grab bars at least in bathtubs, showers, and near the toilet. Not only can they help should you slip, but they can also be useful if you lose your balance or just need a little extra support while getting in, out, up, or down.
Easy access to medical care
Emergencies happen, and you should always be prepared for them. There should be easy access to medical care at any time. In your independent living home, there should be an easily accessible phone in every room or some other way of summoning a staff member in case of an emergency. An added bonus would be access to doctors who are willing to make house calls. There are a few independent living communities that have a resident doctor who is ready to visit your home at any time.
Smart Sensor Technology
In this technological age, there is an easy way to monitor changes in behavior without intruding upon your everyday life. In recent years, there has been an increase in Smart Sensor Technology. Small sensors are placed around your living space, and they learn your general habits. They notice about when you get up in the morning and how often you sit in your favorite comfy armchair – they also notice if you stay in bed until 2 P.M. or lay on the floor for a while. These sensors will send alerts to the staff there is abnormal behavior detected, and someone will check on you. Because the sensors are so small, they are hardly noticeable; plus, they are sensors, not cameras, so your privacy is still protected while your safety is maintained.
Safety is the most important feature of an independent living community. It could have the best location, prettiest campus, and fullest social calendar, but if you don’t feel safe in your home, is it even worth it?
At Eskaton, we encourage safety. Our spacious villages and lodges offer the best in safety - including new-age safety features for our residents. We want you to feel safe in your independent living community.