By: Aron Neelie

Well, it’s the holiday season and not only must you baby proof your home, but you may have to elder proof your home, too!  All types of family members will be gathering. From the old to the new, from the newborns to the elders, they are gathering; and they could be gathering at your house!

Is your house ready?  I don’t just mean for company, I mean for lack of accidents.

baby boomers elder proof your homeWe are familiar with baby proofing. No cupboards, no pulling on shelving, no cleaning solvents by the toilets, corners covered with foam, etc.!

But how familiar are you with elder proofing your home?

Elders and older seniors have trouble seeing depth.

Try placing black tape on stair edges.
Be certain all carpets are stuck to the floor and will not slide, slip or curl.
Watch out for all vases and items that may only live on table tops, for stability.
Keep the doorways clear and able to grab for balance.
Be certain the bathrooms are clear from water on the floor.
Keep all handles on the stove inward.

The elders may want to be helpful, so have something for them to do to participate with the feast; such as to help set the table or to bring the candles to the table.  Give them things that aren’t too heavy, but make them feel wanted and appreciated.

Keep them safe by being aware that they their agility may be off-kilter, and their balance. Allow them space and room and time to rise up out of a chair.  Offer to make their plate as their mobility may be slightly impaired.

Always give them their dignity and independence, and always keep them safe by elder proofing your home.

Memory loss that disrupts daily life;
2 Challenges in planning or solving problems;
3 Difficulty completing familiar tasks;
4 Confusion with time or place;
5 Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships;
New problems finding words when speaking or writing;
7 Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps;
8 Decreased or poor judgment;
9 Withdrawal from work or social activities;
10 Changes in mood and personality.

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