On February 17, comes the sad news that former State Representative Ron Casey, who served parts of Jefferson County, died early Sunday from a head injury. Rep. Casey fell on a concrete floor at his brother’s house a few days earlier. He was only 61 years old and had served 12 years in the Missouri House. Prior to that, he had been a corrections officer.
While Rep. Casey was far from being “elderly”, his death got me to thinking about my parents who are beginning to get up there in years. Their house—my childhood home–is a throwback to the 1970’s when loose rugs adorned plush and shag carpeting, and hiding electrical cords meant running them, willy-nilly, beneath throw rugs or snaking them across the floor, to be plugged in behind the nearest coffee table. Rep. Casey’s death was a timely reminder that my siblings and I really need to get busy and help my folks “seniorize” their house.
Easy Tips for Seniorizing a House or Apartment
A home can be a dangerous place, especially for the elderly, if adequate precautions aren’t taken. By safety-proofing your loved one’s house, you can make a huge difference in ensuring their safety. The following are simple steps that you can take right now to make your loved one’s house more secure:
- Tack or tape all rugs and loose carpets to the floor. This will prevent seniors from tripping on crumpled rugs and will help make their path smoother.
- Tack, staple or tape electrical cords to the wall or place them flat, taping them flush against the floor, underneath rugs so they don’t pose a tripping hazard.
- Place soft towels or padding around the sharp corners of furniture and appliances so that they don’t cause serious injury in the event of a fall.
- Install railings on BOTH sides of staircases that are capable of supporting a person’s full body weight. These railings should ideally extend beyond the top and bottom steps.
- Install an elevated toilet seat so that seniors can get off and on the toilet with greater ease. Also, place grab bars on both sides of the toilet to provide an extra means of assistance.
- Place grab bars in the shower to provide a hold in the event of a slip or unsteadiness. If there is room, put a seat in the shower stall. Taking a seated shower is far safer than trying to stand up in a slick bathtub.
- Place no-slip mats around the kitchen and bathroom sinks and showers.
- Paint the hot water faucet red or label it HOT to prevent accidental scalding.
- Place bright tape on clear windows to make sure that they are not mistook for an open door.
- Replace any appliances that aren’t working correctly.
- Place a phone in the basement and at the bottom of every staircase so that it can be easily accessed in the event of a fall.
- Reposition all appliances as well as pots/pans and dishes at a level where seniors do not have to struggle to reach.
- Replace low-wattage bulbs with bright lights to permit easier viewing.
- If your loved one is getting forgetful but still maintains an independent lifestyle, talk to them about replacing the oven and stove with a microwave for cooking.
- Get a lifeline-type device and instruct your loved one on how to use it in the event of an emergency.
- Make sure that the house has a working smoke and carbon monoxide detector on each floor.
Taking these few steps to improve your loved one’s safety can make a world of difference in making it possible for them to live securely in the beloved environs of their own home or apartment while maintaining an independent lifestyle as long as possible.
Consult with a Trial Lawyer with Experience in Senior Citizen Advocacy
If you know a senior citizen who has been hurt due to the negligent or purposeful actions of another, please give our top trial lawyers a call. We care about our clients and will fight aggressively to ensure that they receive maximum compensation for any harms or losses suffered. We have a proven track record when it comes to representing and winning maximum compensation for senior citizens who have been hurt or neglected: another reason why we have earned the reputation as “Missouri’s Winningest Law Firm”. Contact us at: -409-7060 or 855-40-CRASH (toll free) for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.