An unfortunate fact of aging is that it makes us more prone to accidents around the house, and many older people need to adapt their lifestyles to their changing needs. At Lane’s Insurance, we encourage older homeowners to implement comprehensive safety plans. As a leading provider of home insurance in Calgary, our goal is to help you to stay safe, healthy, and claims-free.
Home Insurance Calgary: Preventing Slips and Falls
The Canadian Safety Council (CSC) warns that slips and falls can be very dangerous to seniors. It’s important to be proactive about prevention, as falls can lead directly to serious health complications.
Here are some strategies for making your home a safer place:
- Make sure all areas of your home are well-lit, particularly around staircases
- Use a bannister whenever you are ascending or descending stairs
- Install slip-resistant stairs
- Wear shoes or slippers with effective grip treads inside your home
- Add grab bars to your shower, bath and/or hot tub, or install a specially designed sit-down bathing area
- Use a full-length rubber grip mat in the bathtub, and keep a clean, skid-free bath mat on the floor directly beside the tub
- Use a mobility aid if necessary
It’s also important that you keep stairs and landings clutter-free to facilitate easier mobility, and pay extra attention to exterior areas during the winter. Have ice and snow promptly removed, and be very careful when walking outdoors in slippery conditions.
Home Insurance Calgary: Adapting the Various Rooms in Your Home to Changing Needs
Tips from the CSC include going through your home room by room to see where safety improvements could be made. There are specific strategies you can use in each area of your home to make it safer and more secure.
Here are some site-specific safety tips to keep in mind:
- Install single-lever faucets for easier control over water temperature and pressure
- Reduce the height of cupboards and shelves so you don’t have to get on a chair to retrieve items from high places
- Raise the height of electrical outlets to improve accessibility
- Install additional lighting in all interior and exterior areas
- Ensure that exterior lighting can easily be controlled from inside the house
- Replace staircases with ramps or specially designed personal elevation devices if mobility is an issue
- Replace standard doorknobs with easy-access levers and handles
- Add two-way light switches at the base and top of all staircases
- Use clear-swinging hinges to create more space in doorways
- Add railings to hallway walls if you need extra support while walking
- Use night lights in bedrooms, and ensure that the path from the bedroom to the bathroom is well-lit during twilight hours
- Sign up for personal emergency response protection that allows you to summon help with the push of a button in case of emergency
- Consider moving your bedroom to the ground floor of your home if you live in a multi-storey house
- If you use a land line telephone, install extra extensions throughout your home so you don’t need to travel far to answer the phone or make a call
Home Insurance Calgary: Fire Safety Tips for Senior Homeowners
Older people, especially those with mobility issues, must take extra care to make sure they have a sound fire safety plan. It’s more challenging for seniors to escape emergency situations, so prevention is key.
Protect yourself by following these home fire safety tips from the CSC:
- Install smoke alarms on each level of your home and in or near every bedroom
- Update your fire escape plan to make sure you have at least two routes to safety in the event of a fire
- Eliminate obstructions and clutter in hallways and around exits
- Never smoke in bed, douse all extinguished cigarettes in water, and never leave a lit cigarette unattended
- Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen
- Never cook in loose or dangling clothing that could catch fire
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Make sure your stove’s exhaust hoods and ducts are regularly cleaned
- Do not store flammable materials near your furnace or within three feet of a space heater
- Have furnaces and chimneys cleaned annually at the start of the winter heating season
- Call an electrician if your home shows any signs of electrical overload, such as dimming lights when multiple appliances are running simultaneously
- Use lamps or other electric lights instead of candles
If you would like more home safety tips, or if you have any questions or concerns about homeowners’ insurance coverage, please contact the courteous professionals at Lane’s Insurance. We offer money-saving insurance bundles, friendly advice, and fast, free, no-obligation insurance quotes.