How to Make Your Bedroom Senior Friendly
Posted on October 19, 2015
in Fall Prevention
The bedroom can be a hazardous place if it is not properly
set up. It is where we first wake up groggy and go to bed tired at the end of
the night. Getting up in the middle of the night can be especially dangerous when
you try to navigate in the dark. You could trip over your shoes you left in the
middle of the room earlier in the day or the laundry you have been meaning to
wash. Your bedroom should be your sanctuary, not a danger zone.
Making the home safe is important for any senior who wants
in place and stay in their home as long as possible. Making your bedroom
safe is an important part of a successful aging in place plan. See our Alert1 precautionary measures to prevent
bedroom falls listed below. These tips will not only make the bedroom safer but
they will also make everyday activities easier.
Make Your Life Easier
grab bars next to bed. Give yourself something to hold on to for balance
when moving around the bedroom and getting into bed. These wall bars are quick
and easy to install. They should be put at a comfortable arm height.
handrails on bed. Another option is to install handrails directly on your
bed. These can prevent falling out of your bed while you are sleeping. They
also give you something to hold on to while sitting up and getting out of bed. These should be chosen over grab bars when you
need more support sitting up within the bed.
bed height. Your bed should not be too high or too low. You should not have
to climb to get into bed, nor should it be so low you fall into it while
sitting down. Adjust it to a height where you can easily sit down and get up
from the mattress.
- Use a
firm mattress. A firm mattress will make getting out of bed easier. It helps
support a neutral spine as you sleep. A firm mattress also insures your airways
are not restricted which makes for easier breathing.
Let There Be Light
rocker light switches. These light switches are easier to turn on and off
than traditional switches. They are especially helpful for people with arthritis
or other fine motor disabilities. They can be turned on and off by pressing
with your palm, elbow or arm.
lighting at your door and next to your bed. A light next to the door will
prevent falls by ensuring you are not feeling around trying to find the light
switch. Have a second light switch or lamp next to your bed so you do not have
to cross a dark room when you are going to sleep.
clapping lights. An alternative to multiple light switches or lamps are clapping
lights. These are inexpensive and
easy to use. As opposed to traditional switches, you will never need to find a
light switch in the dark.
- Have a
nightlight. A nightlight will help prevent
falls from happening in the middle of the night. If you do not live alone
you probably don’t turn on the light during the night and wake up your partner.
Have a nightlight on so you can get water or go to the bathroom safely.
- Have a
portable toilet in bedroom. If you get up frequently in the night, and the
bathroom is all the way down the hall it may be a good idea to have a portable
toilet right in the bedroom. These are especially great for people with
mobility issues. It will reduce the distance you must walk to get to the
bathroom in the night.
- Keep the
floor clear. Whether it is cords, clothes, rugs or any other clutter, keep
your floor clean to prevent tripping and falling.
- Have a
sturdy chair with arms to sit on and get dressed. Sitting while getting
dressed is easier as well as safer. As we age our balance can be thrown off by
little things such as a shirt covering our eyes for a second. A chair will also
save you the trouble if hopping around on one foot trying to put your pants on.
frequently used items within easy reach. Clean and organize your closet and
drawers so your everyday items are within easy reach. Avoid storing things too
high or too low.
- Have a medical alert system close
by. If you don’t like to sleep with your pendant on, keep it close on your
bedside table. If you happen to need it in the night, it will be within easy
Age in Place at Ease
Aging in place shouldn’t be a cause for worry. Make these
easy modifications to stay comfortable. After all, the bedroom is a place where
you go to relax and rest. Make it that simple. Enjoy your golden years living
in your own home.
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