Low-Cost Super Easy Home Upgrades For Seniors
There are many overlooked, easy and low-cost upgrades to enhance safety for seniors at home. Here are some simple fixes that improve safety but won’t break the bank.
Easy Home Upgrades For Lighting:
One of the unfortunate side effects of getting older is diminishing vision. Therefore ample lighting is often one of the first recommended upgrades to prevent accidents in the home.
Low-cost Low-tech Smart Light Switches
Rooms like entrances and hallways may have sufficient lighting. However, safely accessing light switches in the dark can be dangerous. There are many accessible, low-cost alternatives such as remote-controlled and sound-activated light switches for those not ready for smart home devices like Google Home or Alexia.
Most homes have shadowed nooks and crannies such as closets, cupboards, and under the stairs. Light up these areas with very inexpensive battery-operated “puck lights.” They turn on by touch and turn off automatically. These can be stuck to any surface using two-sided tape.
Inexpensive Home Upgrades for fire safety:
In many senior’s homes, old and new technology mix to create new fire hazards. Here are a couple of quick and inexpensive upgrades that will make plugs and appliances safer:
Are there space heaters, curling irons or other items that produce heat in the home that do not turn off automatic? While newer appliances include this feature, seniors may have older devices that predate this feature. A great low-cost safety fix is a ‘Plugin Timer’ that can be found at hardware stores or online.
Mobile phones, tablets and many other electronic device chargers can get extremely hot. For instance, a charger plugged into the end of an extension cord and left on a couch can slip behind the cushions and begin to smoulder. Avoid this fire hazard by designating a kitchen table or counter as a Charging Station. The ‘Charging Station’ should have an easily accessible outlet.
Low-Cost Home Upgrades for Senior Falls Prevention:
Slips and falls are the most cited cause of fractures and head injuries for seniors at home. Also, even if a fall doesn’t cause physical harm, it can still be frightening enough that seniors may lose confidence in their ability to live independently.
Occasionally, when getting out of bed, seniors can experience some temporary dizziness. Placing a grab bar close to the edge of the bed could offer steadying support while the dizziness passes.
Navigating the exit may present a trip hazard at the door sill. Adding a grab bar on the inside of the screen or storm door would be an excellent low-cost home safety features.
Dizziness can occur anywhere that requires movement, such as in a short hallway, and there may be nothing to grab. Therefore installing a railing in these locations add extra safety to in-home mobility.
Grab bars and railings as an item are not expensive. However, these items must be securely mounted.
Low-cost, practical safety upgrades throughout the home create a safer experience for seniors. And more peace of mind for caregivers.