Four Home Safety Tips for Seniors

Four Home Safety Tips for Seniors

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 



According to AARP, nearly 90 percent of seniors want to stay in their own home as they age. However, issues with limited mobility, vision, hearing, balance and even cognitive impairments can raise safety concerns in the home environment. To help keep yourself or your loved one safe consider these home safety tips for seniors.

Home Safety in Your Physical Space

Falls are one of the top health risks for seniors. In fact, nearly a third of U.S. seniors fall each year and about half of all falls that require hospitalization take place at home according to the CDC. What can you do?

Make sure walking paths are free of clutter and that electric cords are near walls and away from walkways. Remove throw rugs and check to ensure all carpets and large area rugs are firmly attached to the floor.  Stairs in particular should be free of papers, shoes, books or other objects as well, make sure the handrail is sturdy and that there is adequate lighting with light switches at the bottom and top of the staircase.

Also, consider the arrangement of your furniture; is it out of the way when you walk or do you frequently stub toes or knees? And are sofas and chairs the right height to easily get in and out of them?

In the kitchen, get yourself a reach stick or sturdy step stool with a bar to hold on to if you frequently need to access items on high shelves.  In the bedroom, have a light close to the bed and proper lighting along the path from your bed to the bathroom. And in the bathroom, get a non-slip rubber mat or self- stick strips on the floor of the tub or shower and install grab bars to assist you in getting in/out of the tub or up from the toilet.

Lastly, consider accessibility, do you have the appropriate mobility devices to maneuver around the home safely? And do you have ramps and/or are the doorways wide enough for these devices?

Personal Safety at Home

One thing that you can expect in life is that the unexpected will happen at some point. All households should be prepared for emergencies, but as you age and/or live alone it’s particularly critical.

Have emergency contact info readily available for the police, fire department or even neighbors. Also, make (AND PRACTICE) an emergency response plan should you need to evacuate for any reason.

Conduct a fire safety check in the home on a regular basis and test smoke alarms every six months. Also, make sure you have fire extinguishers in easily accessible places.

It’s also a good idea to have a generator in case of a power outage to keep oxygen and dialysis machines functioning.

Last, but certainly not least, a 24-hour emergency alert system is a must for seniors. This wearable call button will put you in touch with a dispatcher to contact the appropriate first responder and/or a friend or family member in the event you need emergency help for any reason. At a minimum, keep your cell phone with you at all times and/or have a telephone near your bed, in the kitchen or anywhere you spend much time.

Driving Safety

The ability to drive is a key to independence for many seniors. Yet, weaker muscles, reduced flexibility and limited range of motion can restrict senior drivers’ ability to grip and turn the steering wheel, press the accelerator or brake, or reach to open doors and windows according to AAA.

Both AARP and AAA offer safe driving refresher courses for seniors. In addition to improving your safety, completion of these courses can result in auto insurance discounts. AAA also has clinics where trained technicians and occupational therapists can help you find the right vehicle fit and can go over smart features that are available in some cars today.

In addition, keep up with regular checkups for vision and hearing to proactively manage any issues that may affect your driving. And speak with your doctor or pharmacist about any potential medication side effects or interactions to be aware of when driving.

Medication Management

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, adverse drug events account for approximately 280,000 hospitalizations annually. And with the complexities of managing multiple prescription medications each day, as many seniors do, it’s easy to see how mistakes can be made.

To reduce the likelihood for error:

  • Always follow your doctor’s instructions and read the package insert information
  • Take medications as long as prescribed, even if you feel better
  • Get prescriptions refilled early to avoid running out of medications
  • Keep track of medications and dosage times with written charts, pill containers that organize by day and time or even apps for your phone that allow you to set alarms

The Cost of Safety at Home

If this sounds like a lot to manage on your own, quite frankly it can be. The cost of safety upgrades is not insignificant either, with the installation of things like wheelchair ramps and bathroom handrails running in the thousands of dollars.

On the other hand, senior living communities are designed specifically for seniors with safety features such as emergency alert systems, grab bars, ramps, transportation, evacuation plans and generators as standard. They also offer many additional benefits that include social opportunities, amenities, daily support and onsite medical care.

Aging in place at home may be best for some, yet others, due to a variety of circumstances, may have more peace of mind in senior living. Bottom line, it’s important to consider all your options to ensure safety and wellbeing for yourself or your loved one.

For more information on the benefits of senior living in a Vitality, Traditions, and Maristone communities, schedule your visit today!  

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