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Most seniors prefer to live in their own homes as long as possible. Staying in a familiar, comfortable place offers freedom and independence, and it is entirely possible with a few modifications. Here are five ways to make safe living spaces for seniors.

1. Flooring

Falls are the number one cause of accidents and injuries in older people. One of the best flooring options for a home with elderly family members is a low pile carpet. Thick carpeting can be challenging for a wheelchair or walker.

Solid flooring, such as linoleum, is slippery. If there are areas of hardwoods, vinyl, or laminate, install non-slip runners or floor mats. Make sure any rugs are securely fastened to the floor so they don’t pose a hazard by sliding on the flooring underneath.

2. Grab Bars Make Safer Living Spaces for Seniors

To make a home safe for seniors, install grab bars around the toilet and shower. When selecting these braces, choose a product that is ADA compliant. This label will verify the product is sturdy enough to support the weight.

There are several places that grab bars can be placed: by the toilet, near the bath, and in the shower where someone might reach for support. The bars can be installed horizontally, vertically, or diagonally depending on comfort level and need.

3. Railing and Stairs

If the house has stairs, make them safer with sturdy handrails and non-slip tread. For a single step up, install a commercially made ramp securely to the floor. Most have a non-slip surface. You may also want to put handrails along an indoor ramp. Railings are required for most outdoor ramps.

4. Living Spaces for Seniors: Use Motion Lights

Motion-detecting lights help make a home more secure. The lights should be angled so that when anyone approaches, they are activated before the visitor reaches the front door. Motion lights also give the homeowner and neighbors greater visibility in the area at night, which makes the community safer.

5. Smoke Detectors

All households should have working smoke detectors and in some regions, carbon monoxide detectors are required. Make sure there are detectors installed on each floor of the home, in each bedroom, and outside the bedrooms in the hallway. Test the batteries once a month and replace them as needed.

M&T Inspection Services provides home inspection services to Indianapolis. Contact us to schedule an appointment.