If you senior loved one is contemplating moving into an assisted living facility, you'll be glad to know that these places provide homelike environments combined with amenities designed to improve the quality of life of those who need some assistance with everyday tasks. Although most assisted living facilities offer new residents the choice between furnished and unfurnished apartments, opting for an unfurnished place provides new residents with a chance to personalize their spaces and make them feel as much like home as possible while keeping safety in mind. There are three major areas where safety is paramount when it comes to healthy and happy senior housing and how you can ensure a safe environment for your senior loved one.
Whether it's beds, couches, or chairs, furniture that is too low can make it difficult for seniors to get up. Also, many people equate softness with ultimate comfort and opt for plush mattresses and furniture cushions, but these can also pose problems for many seniors because they provide unstable surfaces that can make rising difficult. Strong, sturdy arms on chairs and couches are another feature that senior-friendly furniture should have -- rising is much easier with something reliable to hold onto.
One of the most effective ways to minimize clip-and-fall incidents is to make sure lights are bright not only in reading and meal preparation areas but in strategic spaces throughout the unit. Many falls, for instance, tend to take place in areas that are traditionally dimly lit, such as hallways and entryways. Keep in mind that depending on bright lamps can actually make your safety strategy backfire because they cast dangerous shadows. Bright ambient lighting with lamps for added light in spaces where optimal brightness is necessary avoids shadows and dim spaces.
Throw and area rugs pose serious safety hazards for seniors, so opt for wall-to-wall carpeting in general living areas and linoleum or cork in the kitchen. Carpets featuring short fibers are easiest to keep clean and don't create slip-and-fall hazards the way lush carpeting might. It's essential to have water resistant, nonslip flooring such as textured ceramic tiles treated with a non-glare finish in the bathroom. Bath mats should be avoided at all costs -- keep in mind that the bathroom is the area where the majority of falls experienced by seniors take place. Along with the safety precautions mentioned above, also make sure that safety bars are properly installed next to the toilet, sink, and in the shower and tub.