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Survey reveals home safety measures among seniors

February 24, 2015
by Richard R. Rogoski
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A report based on a survey of more than 1,800 seniors and their families reveals some interesting insights about home safety measures, especially those to prevent falls.

Improving Seniors' Home Safety Through Software,” released by Software Advice, showed that 28 percent of those surveyed did not plan to spend money on any home modifications that would make their homes safer, whereas only 13 percent have installed handrails and/or grab bars as a fall prevention solution. Another 12 percent have removed rugs to prevent tripping, and 8 percent have placed non-skid mats or strips on floors.

In addition, 20 percent of surveyed adults with senior parents said they are interested in receiving or already are receiving electronic safety updates from a home health care provider. But 80 percent said they were not interested.

The study also noted that advances in technology, such as fall-risk assessment software and various sensor technologies that send out alerts or provide remote monitoring, are now available to many families—and the costs keep going down. Many families also use online portals to connect with seniors and caregivers and to share information.

Much more still needs to be done to ensure safety in the home, the report’s authors note. “Our data indicate that seniors and their families have been slow to adopt both traditional and tech-based home safety measures. This makes it all the more important to raise awareness about safety risks and the new solutions available today to help mitigate them.”