Decorating for Safety with Aging Loved Ones

October 25, 2020

Home is where the heart is. We know that to be true, so it’s no surprise that we want our homes to be a reflection of us.

Many of our aging loved ones can walk us through every corner of their homes, carefully explaining the trinkets purchased while traveling, the achievements framed on the walls, and the tokens of love gifted by friends and family. We adore hearing these stories, and these items give our loved ones physical reminders of a life well lived.

As our loved ones age, it’s imperative that we’re mindful of the potential danger an item can create in a home. Whether something is a tripping hazard or could easily tip over, we have some tips and tricks for stabilizing furniture, reducing clutter, and keeping aging people safe in their homes.

Anchor Furniture to Walls

As we age, we start to lose our balance. When walking through a home, it’s not uncommon to grab hold of a piece of furniture for support or stability. To ensure a piece of furniture that once provided stability doesn’t come tumbling down, anchor things like bookshelves, dressers, or console tables to the walls. The good news about this task is that you’re doing double-duty safety prep for when grandbabies come to visit!

Secure Cords

A long cord from the lamp to the outlet across the room is the epitome of a tripping hazard. Securing cords to the wall will decrease the likelihood of a foot getting caught beneath them. There are many products on the market — from tape to clips — that will help you in this process.

Swap Fire-Burning Candles with Battery-Powered Candles or Diffusers

Who doesn’t love a good candle? They offer warmth and delightful smells to a room. However, live flames? Not the safest option. Reduce fire hazards by swapping out fire-burning candles with battery-powered candles. If your loved one lights candles for the scents, consider investing in an oil diffuser to fill the room with fragrances like lavender or eucalyptus. Bonus: Essential oils are touted to have health benefits, too!

Go from High to Low

Many of the accidents we hear about were caused because something was placed out of reach. One quick solution? Go low. Move kitchen items to lower cabinets, move cosmetics to countertops, and move favorite books to lower bookshelves. If it’s a regularly-used item, make sure it’s well within reach.

Remove Clutter

Maybe the biggest thing we can do to help our loved ones move around their homes with ease? Reduce clutter.

Famed organizer Marie Kondo lives by the motto, “Does it bring you joy?” Move around your loved one’s home with them room by room and minimize clutter by asking them the million-dollar question. If it doesn’t bring them joy, it may be time to find a new home for that item. _______________________________________________________________________

Keeping your aging loved one safe and happy in their home is a balance. It may require tough conversations and a little elbow grease. At the end of the day, if they’re safe, the work will have been worth it.