Life expectancy is increasing....with nearly one in five of us expected to reach our 100th birthday!
There are more than 11.4 million over 65's in the UK. Of these 3.5 million live independently in their own homes.
Older people living alone may be at a greater risk of becoming a victim of crime or having an accident.
That's why, it's important to have elderly home safety and security measures that are easy and effective.
Home safety for the elderly doesn’t always mean expensive gadgets and systems.
As simple changes will make your living space much more practical and safer.
Here are some of our top suggestions:
Fitting a smoke alarm is a cheap and easy solution to preventing fires in the home.
Your local Fire Service can offer free home fire safety visits to fit and maintain your smoke alarm. They will also check the safety of other household appliances.
Another essential is a carbon monoxide detector to prevent the risk of poisoning.
Carbon monoxide is often called “the silent killer” as it doesn't have a smell or taste.
The detector will flash and sound an alarm if carbon monoxide is detected in the home. Giving you time to escape and get help.
Nearly 20,000 fires are started each year through faulty wiring or problems with the electrics.
Your wiring should be checked every 10 years regardless of the age of your home.
Be careful not overuse extension leads and adaptors. Too many may overload your system and cause a fire.
If you see sparks coming out of sockets and strange burning smells - Call an electrician.
Make sure that you use a registered electrician for any electrical work.
Falls at home are one of the most common risks for the elderly. A risk that increases as you get older.
One of the easiest way to prevent falls is getting rid of clutter that could contribute to tripping.
De-cluttering can reduce the risk of a potentially hazardous fall.
Common tripping dangers include electrical cords, pet bowls, rugs and small furniture.
Devices that have fall sensors are another great safety tool. Such personal gadgets “sense” a fall and send a signal to a carer.
A fall sensor could be lifesaving as it instantly alerts through an alarm or signal that your need help.
Remote control sockets can prevent you losing your balance through outreaching and bending . As sockets can be controlled from the comfort of your chair or bed.
The risk of accidents in the bathroom is high as floors get slippery when wet.
Ideally, fit a non-slip floor such as Altro flooring to reduce falls.
Your local council may insist on this flooring if they are paying as it protects the carer too.
For an older person with mobility difficulties there are many bathing and toileting aids. From simple grab rails and raised toilet seats to...... shower chairs and specialist bidet toilets.
Finally, use a bathroom door lock variety that can be opened from both sides. There is nothing worst than getting locked in the toilet!
Two thirds of burglars will enter a home through the front door.
A simple door chain from a local DIY store can instantly make your home safer. Along with a peephole to see anyone outside.
Fit window locks to the ground floor windows. Though make sure the key is handy in case of a fire.
Bogus callers can be intimidating to the elderly. Try placing a reminder near the front door to put on the door chain on before opening.
Always ask for identification and if suspicious phone their organisation to check their details. Closing the front door first!
If you’re an older person living alone or you’re a carer look at how technology can help you in the home.
Assistive products can reduce both the risk of accidents and crime. They can help manage potential risks and support independence.
The Wireless Video Door Phone is simple to install and use. Letting you see who's outside from the safety of your living room.
While telephone blockers can offer protection against nuisance calls and scammers.
For anyone with memory difficulties there are reminder devices that can play a message at a set time. Such as a reminder to take medication or attend an appointment.
And extra reassurance can be found from a Pendant alarm that can be pressed to alert a carer of a fall.
Finally....think about your home and concerns.
By looking at all your needs you can choose the right solutions for your safety. Enabling you to stay safe and independent in your home.
For further support and information:
Age UK operates a handyperson service across 80% of the UK. This video explains how the service can help you:
Fire Safety for people with sight, hearing or mobility issues (Government leaflet - Large Print edition available)
The Little Book of Big Scams (Essex Police)
Home Safety and Security (Age UK)
Grants for the Elderly (Disability Grants)
Computer and Assistive Technology Grants (Disability Grants)
Statistics taken from the Age UK Factsheet "Later Life in the UK" (October 2015) - updated monthly