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Seniors, when the house becomes a danger

In France, more than 2 million people over the age of 65 are victims of domestic accidents every year, and 10 000 die. Over the years, our vigilance and our reflexes diminish what makes us more vulnerable, even within our home. To limit the risks of incidents, often related to falls, it is sometimes enough of a few precautions, small innocuous gestures and a reorganization of the living space. Prevention is better than cure! HandymanDuDimanche offers this week to discover room by room solutions to make life easier for seniors while avoiding a maximum of accidents.


Secure your entry

Very busy, the entrance is a passageway often cramped requiring some precautions. A wet or poorly installed doormat is sometimes enough to cause beautiful slips. To avoid falls, it must be installed next to the door and not in the middle of the path. It will retain its primary function, clean the soles without risking you down. Removing or putting on your shoes while standing requires some agility and balance that are lost over the years. Leaning on the wall or on one foot to get shoes is not safe. Providing a chair or a bench to settle comfortably before taking off your shoes or getting dressed will offer you more security. If the house has a staircase or even a few steps, a wide ramp to support or hold is simply essential. In case of greatly reduced mobility, stair lifts will remove many efforts, limit the risks and improve your comfort. This solution is however reserved for high budgets.

The kitchen, a room at risk

The kitchen, the trap room for seniors

If the installations are obsolete, which is too often the case, the kitchen can carry many risks. The gas present in many homes can be the source of real tragedies, so it is advisable to be equipped with induction hobs to prevent oversights so quickly arrived. If this replacement is too expensive, check the date of validity of the supply hose, which can be replaced by a braided stainless steel hose, guaranteed for life.

To avoid having to climb onto a chair or stepladder, all utensils, ingredients and household robots must be within reach. Hot water used for washing dishes can sometimes cause severe burns in elderly people with particularly sensitive skin. A thermostatic faucet, which blocks the temperature to 38 degrees will prevent this kind of inconvenience. As we get older, we tend to look for more and more supports, so tables and kitchen furniture are under severe strain. So think of screwing their fasteners or replacing them if they are worn to not see them crumble while they support you. Finally, household products must be well separated from other bottles and remain in their original packaging to not be confused with the rest.

Sanitary facilities: a place to secure

The toilets must be arranged

Often wet, the bathroom and toilets require a perfect organization. All carpets, even those surrounding toilets must be removed because they greatly increase the risk of falling. To avoid getting tired or catching up, support bars can be installed in the shower, bath or above the bowl. A plastic seat can also be placed in the shower or bath to make the toilet more pleasant and less dangerous. If the bathtub is too high, it takes extra effort and increases the risk of accidents once again. There are models with an opening door or input and output handles that are sometimes a great help. The same applies to shower trays with large steps that have to be replaced by single storey receivers. Finally, to prevent slipping, you can install non-slip mats in the shower or bath. To avoid being locked in the bathroom or toilet, it is better to remove the locks or modernize them, replacing them with models that can open from the inside as well as from outside. In case of discomfort the intervention of the relief will be facilitated.

The corridor: a dangerous place of passage

Used to get from one room to another, the corridor calls for all our attention. Even if it passes very briefly, it must be well lit, preferably with a light directed by a switch. Cabinets and other hanging shelves should be installed with care in this often narrow area where shocks are common. The carpets on which he regularly stumbles, must also be proscribed. Remember to clear the passage by not letting loose electric cables or small objects to make you fall.

The bedroom, a resting place to redevelop

The room should not be a dangerous place for seniors

To relax in peace, the bedroom must be perfectly secure. In order not to grope in the dark to turn the light on or off, it is best to install the switches near the bed. Once again, carpets and other bed runners should be avoided, to reduce the risk of falls. For very restless sleep, it is possible to install bed rails that will prevent you from falling. The bed, center island of the room must be at the right height, neither too low nor too high. Some models of electric box springs are fully reclining with a remote control, giving you optimal comfort.

The indispensable

In addition to all these measures, there are other points to check to evolve in peace in his home. Each room must be perfectly illuminated, for this, opt for bulbs with high power, which consume no more electricity than others and install a maximum of switches in strategic places as the entrance of the rooms. It is imperative to have at least one phone in service, if possible in all rooms to be able to call for help when needed and not to leave objects and wires in the middle of the passage.

A fracture including the femoral neck is quickly arrived at a simple fall. It is therefore important to equip yourself and take maximum precautions to reduce the risk of accidents. Grants, funded by some municipalities, are also available to help carry out some work to improve the safety of over 65s. To guide you and facilitate your efforts, health professionals, occupational therapists are at your disposal.


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