Not every senior wants to live in an assisted living community. Some prefer to stay in their homes for as long as possible because they thrive in this comfort and familiarity. With a few modifications, remaining in the home isn’t just feasible but practical and convenient. Keeping your loved one at home is economical, easiest for family members and a great way to maintain your loved one’s independence.

If you do decide to keep your loved one at home, you need to make sure that their home is safe and secure. Whether your parent is going to live alone or with someone else, you need to be objective about which modifications are needed to make the home safe. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can increase safety and security in the home.

  • Medical Alert System. Many seniors living alone will benefit from a medical alert system. These systems are generally worn around the neck and have a call button that instantly dials for help.
  • Sturdy Railings. All railings should be checked for stability. Encourage your parent to always use the railings when walking up and down the stairs.
  • Adequate Lighting. A well-lit home prevents unexpected trips and falls. Check the light bulbs in your parent’s home to ensure they are working, and add nightlights in dark areas such as hallways and bathrooms.
  • Marked Faucets. Mark faucets with hot and cold water settings. This simple reminder can prevent your parent from scalding themselves. For added security, turn the water heater to 120 degrees or cooler.
  • Fire Extinguisher and Smoke Detector. Keep a fire extinguisher and smoke detector on every floor. Your parent should know how to use the fire extinguisher, so review the steps or provide simple directions nearby. Today’s smoke detectors also come with carbon monoxide detectors, which are necessary for detecting the deadly but indistinguishable carbon monoxide gas.
  • Remove Clutter. Keep your parent’s home as organized as you can. This helps you to feel in control of the environment. Tack down all area rugs and keep cables and wires tucked away. Wipe up spills immediately, and don’t leave any of the grandkids’ toys on the floor.
  • Review your loved one’s medications regularly with their doctor. Make sure they are clearly labeled. Dispose of any that are not needed and keep an eye out for side effects or drug interactions that can occur from the medication.

Keeping your parent’s home safe requires a lot of attention, so expect to check in on them frequently. But as we all know, the rewards to living at home are invaluable.