Currently 17% of the Spanish population belongs to the group called “third age” . To the physical and psychological problems of the elderly to carry out their activities in daily life, is often added the danger derived from poor maintenance of the homes in which they reside, which increases the risk of suffering falls, burns and other types of of injuries.
Keeping home installations in proper condition not only reduces the risk of our elders suffering an accident, but also becomes a safe long-term investment: we must not forget that we all age. Reparable, a company specializing in the marketing of home care contracts and in the comprehensive management of claims and repairs, has located the main risk areas and traps in the home that endanger our elderly and has drawn up a list of tips to avoid them .
In the bathroom
The bathtub is one of the main enemies of the elderly, so it is advisable to replace it with a shower tray since access is easier and more comfortable. In addition, it is most recommended that it be installed at ground level to prevent our elders from tripping and thus facilitate wheelchair access in cases where it is necessary.
Using non-slip mats prevents slipping, and placing grab bars in the shower and toilet will prevent potential falls. Try not to use stoves, electric radios or any other device less than 1 or 1.5 meters away while you shower. If we have a stove or heater in the bathroom, we must turn it on for a while before showering and disconnect it during the bath. All plugs must be grounded to prevent shock.
In the kitchen
Try to turn off electrical appliances once they are no longer in use. It seems logical, but how many times have you run out to turn off the ceramic hob? Accidental fires are one of the main causes of damage in the home: never leave papers, cloths or napkins near the kitchen . Objects must be accessible so that our elders do not have to overexert themselves when it comes to reaching those that are used the most, such as glasses, plates, pots and pans. Likewise, as in the bathroom, all plugs must have an earth connection.
In the bedroom
Try to place the materials and utensils that are used the most, such as clothes, sheets, the sewing kit or the medicine box , as close as possible. Avoid using stairs or chairs to locate objects in the attics, since vertigo can play tricks. The choice of bed is another point to take into account since, compared to traditional high-rise beds and those designed at ground level, those of our elders must be adjusted to a height that allows them not to make an extra effort for their joints, being able to get on and off it comfortably. Periodically check the fixing of headboards, mirrors and shelves.
In the classroom
Although it is often the brand of the house, it is not recommended to use electric braziers under the stretcher tables. The shelves must be fixed to the wall, also the standing ones. And since the living room is not only the meeting area but also often becomes a recreation area for the elderly, good lighting is essential. Not only will this prevent a lot of tripping, but it will reduce eye strain when watching TV, reading, playing with the grandkids, or doing your daily chores.
in the halls
The stairs must have switches both at the beginning of the section and at the end so that they can be illuminated both when going up and when going down. They must also have handrails. To avoid unnecessary wiring, it is preferable to have plugs distributed in the different areas and not to use extension cords. In the event that they have to be used, it is preferable to fix them to the wall in order not to trip.