The number of senior citizens that live on their own grows substantially every year. Many seniors consider living independently in an apartment an ideal scenario. However, independence does not come without risks. That’s why it’s important to invest in apartment safety.
As we age, our balance and reaction time is not the same as it was when we were younger. In fact, falling and sustaining serious injuries is a growing problem among older adults. Along with the physical risks involved in living alone, there is also the risk of being a target for criminal activity.
If you are a senior living alone, you should have a plan in place for protecting yourself against criminal activity, as well as preventing the risk of accidents and injuries. Below, you’ll find ideas you can implement in your home to increase its level of safety.
When it comes to home security, many people think about arming a residential or single-family home. However, apartment living comes with the same risks and therefore has a similar need for safety. Whether you are living in a large or small apartment complex, there are a few key things to do to keep your home safe.
The first thing to keep on top of your mind is simple: always lock your doors. Whether you are at home or away, you should keep your doors locked. When someone is at your door, do not open it if you aren’t sure who the person is or aren’t expecting a visitor. If anyone needs you, they will find a way to contact you and let you know.
Criminals often target seniors in their homes as they are sometimes defenseless in a robbery situation. Something as simple as a doorbell can be the first line of defense.
A great way to know who is at your door and have video proof of what is going on is through a camera doorbell such as Ring. These can be easily installed and managed from your smartphone. Also, you can talk to the person through the doorbell and gather more information about who they are or what they need from you before making any decisions.
Safety-proof to Prevent Falls
Whether you are in an apartment, single-family home, or even assisted living, falling is always a risk. The best thing you can do is try to mitigate that risk by reducing clutter and adding grab bars.
You can start safety-proofing by making sure your hallways, stairs and all pathways are decluttered and have good lighting. If you have any rugs throughout your apartment, you can have them taped down to avoid any tripping.
The bathroom is always one of the most dangerous places for seniors when it comes to the risk of falling. Small changes such as having rubber-backed rugs on the floor and grab bars on the walls can significantly help reduce the risk of falling.
Having a plan in place in the case you do fall is a must. If you have a smart speaker such as Alexa or Google Home, they can be a huge help. You would need to alert the speaker that you have fallen and needed emergency help. Additionally, if your smartphone is nearby, it can also follow voice commands to get help when needed.
Protect Yourself from the Extreme
Extreme circumstances, such as burns or poisonings, are a couple of the most common accidents that senior citizens can experience when living alone. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, so you should never heat your home with your oven or stove. If you were to do this, it will release deadly gas that you cannot smell or see. With that said, you will want to make sure that there are multiple carbon monoxide detectors throughout your apartment with up–to–date batteries.
People tend to believe that apartment fires cannot happen to them, but studies have found they are more frequent than we think, and can start from something as small as a burning candle. Simple measures are sometimes all it takes to prevent fires. For example, blowing out a candle or replacing frayed electric cords can be easy to remember if you set reminder alarms.
Making some small changes to improve your overall safety can make a world of difference. By making your apartment safer, you are not only lowering the risk to hurt yourself, but also increasing the chances of being able to stay in your home longer and retain your independence.