Let’s Talk About the Bedroom
For seniors, the bedroom can be a minefield of hazards. To remain as independent as possible in their own home, seniors need to have their bedrooms made as safe and usable as possible. In this blog we will talk about a few changes that can be made in a bedroom to make it as ideal as possible for the continuation of safely living in the home for seniors.
Electrical Safety – Many seniors live in older homes, constructed before electrical needs were more than a light and a radio in a room. Fast forward to 2021, and you have many needs in a bedroom for more than a light. A TV, charging cables, a heater or fan, a computer, a CPAP machine – the list could go on. If the electrical in the home hasn’t been updated to have enough outlets in each room, you run the risk of overloading a circuit and causing issues or overusing extension cords and causing trip hazards and fire hazards.
Fire Safety – Seniors will of course need extra time to exit a home in case of fire. At night, while asleep, fires could start anywhere in the home from electrical issues, forgotten appliances or candles left lit. If they don’t get the alert of a fire until smoke is right outside their door – their chances of survival are dramatically reduced.
The good news is that there are fire alarms that connect to each other and set all alarms off in the home, no matter where the fire is. Imagine if there is a fire in the basement, the basement alarm will set off all other alarms, buying major time for your senior to escape.
Bodily Safety – This category would include beds at the proper heights, floors that aren’t slick or have tripping hazards, room for walkers, and night lights to provide safe maneuvering at night. Minimize bedding to prevent it from tangling around legs and creating a fall hazard. Provide bed rails if falling out of the bed is a concern.
Comfort – Bedrooms need to be at a comfortable temperature. Bedding needs to be clean and cozy. Mattresses need to be soft enough to be comfortable but not so soft that it’s hard to get out of it or roll over. Waterproof mattress pads or waterproof bed pads will save the mattress and provide easy clean-up in case of leaking diapers or accidents.
Convenience – It might be a great convenience to a senior to have a commode near their bed. If they can’t quite make it on time, this is an ideal solution. Also, make sure lamp switches, remotes, phones, and drinks/snacks are within easy reach so no extreme stretching causes injury. Make space so that walkers or canes have room to be used right up next to the bed and can stay there within easy reach.
If the goal is staying home instead of moving to a nursing home, do an audit for your loved one of their bedroom. Making a few changes can ensure you can sleep well at night knowing that they are safe and comfortable. And they can sleep at night experiencing comfort and safety.
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