How to Make Your Bedroom Senior Friendly

happy couple on sofa laughing

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 to age 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

quaint bedroom
  • Install 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.
  • Install 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.
  • Adjust 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

nightstand and lamp
  • Install 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.
  • Install 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. 
  • Install 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.

Prevent Falls

caregiver and patient
  • 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.
  • Keep 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 reach.

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Age in Place at Ease

Older woman smiling. alert1 medical alert system

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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