Most seniors would rather remain in their own homes and most experts also agree that remaining in the home can be very beneficial, especially for those with Alzheimer’s. However, it is important to make sure that the home is free from potential household safety hazards. CaregiverStress.com, a resource from Home Instead Home Care, has a very useful page about safety in the home for seniors: http://www.caregiverstress.com/senior-safety/making-home-safer/.
In their Senior Home Safety video, Erin Albers from Home Instead Senior Care explains that 100% of ER doctors surveyed attribute falls to be the most common accident among seniors. Medication mishaps, cuts and burns are also leading causes. ER doctors also agree the bathroom is the number one spot for accidents to occur, although there are potential hazards throughout the entire house. Fortunately, the ER doctors also believe that at least ½ of these accidents are preventable. Erin advises that a home safety check is done at least once a year. She also provides simple safety modifications including walk in shower and grab bars in the bathroom, keeping regularly used items on lower shelves in the kitchen to reduce the need for reaching or using a step stool, having a clutter free and well lit stairway with a secure hand rail, and adequate lighting, no clutter and no throw rugs throughout the house. More information can be found in the video referenced above.
The “Making Home Safer for Seniors Page” also includes a number of other valuable resources to ensure your loved ones safety at home. There you will find an interactive home safety guide and a home safety checklist, among many other useful articles and tools.