If your family is like many “new age” families, you may have a blend of generations living under one roof. While this trend has many benefits, like live in childcare of the best kind, it can be challenging to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and is safe in shared spaces. In this week’s blog, Safety Mom Allison Jacobson points out a few quick fixes that can help keep your extended family flowing smoothly.
If you’re one of the growing number of families who are multi-generational households blending style with function isn’t always easy. Having an aging parent move in with you means combining furniture, knick-knacks and a host of other items.
Here are some tips for making your living room and family room safe and accessible for everyone in the family:
- Eliminate tripping hazards: Throw rugs, extension cords and toys on the floor are all dangerous for elderly or those with a physical disability. All rugs should be tacked down and cords secured against the wall. Never run an extension cord under a carpet as the coating of the cord can wear away and the friction can start a spark. Create a designated area for kids to keep their toys and get various colored bins to keep them organized.
- Brighten it up: Not only will improved lighting create a more upbeat mood but lower lighting can also increase the chance of an elderly person falling. Increase the wattage of your bulbs and be sure there are no shadowed areas.
- Consider the positioning of furniture: If you have toddlers in the home furniture should not be near a railing if you have a raised ranch where they could tumble backwards.Also, make sure the any windows near furniture have window guards. Screens will not prevent a toddler from falling out.
- Prevent topple over accidents: Topple over accidents have increased tremendously.Flat screen TVs should be secured to a table and any heavy items such as grandfather clocks, bookcases or TV units need to be bolted to the walls.
- Consider home automation: For seniors or those with a disability, making the living area easier to manage is essential. Home automation systems will allow lights to automatically turn on if there’s motion, set up rules for the thermostat to turn higher or lower and even unlock the front door without leaving the living room.
In determining the best flooring options for shared spaces, think EASY. Look for easy-to-clean carpets, luxury vinylor ceramic tileswith built-in antimicrobial product protection, so that they stay cleaner longer. The added technology protects surfaces from the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew that can cause stains and odors, for products that last longer and are more durable for high traffic areas.
With a little extra effort and attention to detail, shared spaces can continue to be safe and enjoyable for your entire family.