Eight ways to make your place secure for an elderly parent

In the April issue of the AARP Bulletin, several stories looked at ways for all of us to make our homes safer and healthier.

Here are several suggestions on how to make your home safer for an elderly parent:

  • Clear the path. Remove throw rugs and repair loose carpeting or raised areas of flooring.
  • Install anti-scalding devices. These devices automatically turn off water that gets too hot and can be installed easily in showers and tubs. Plus, they are inexpensive – about $40.
  • Light the way. Use night lights in hallways, stairwells and bathrooms. Put light bulbs in closets, too.
  • Minimize bathroom hazards. Install grab handles and nonskid mats inside and outside the shower or tub. Taller toilets and shower seats are recommended for people with mobility issues.
  • Steady their steps. Add sturdy handrails to stairways and put treads in steps.
  • Cooking care. If an elderly parent is using the kitchen, place pots and pans at waist level for easy access. Devices like timers and motion sensors can automatically turn off ovens and stove tops if left unattended.
  • Consider a granny cam. Need to keep track of an older adult while working or running errands? Surveillance cameras now come with motion detectors and let you check a live feed from your smartphone.
  • Get a handle. Arthritic hands can have a hard time turning a round doorknob. Consider level-style handles and use door locks that can be opened from both sides.