Four Ways To Make Your Patio Safer For Your Elderly Loved One

Posted on: 10 June 2015

If you have an older family member who lives with you or comes over to visit often, they you'll want to take appropriate measures to make sure your living space is safe for that person. One of the most important areas to focus on is the patio. Follow these four tips to ensure your patio space is safe for your elderly loved one to spend time on.

Make sure a raised patio is completely surrounded by railings.

If your patio is even a few inches off the ground, it should be completely surrounded by a railing that your loved one could not accidentally fall over or through. A tumble off a 1-foot patio may not be a big deal for you, but an elderly loved one could break a hip or a few ribs if he or she tumbles down from this height.

Wooden or metal railings, built to about 3.5 feet or higher, are sufficient for surrounding a patio. Make sure they are steady and secure, so they don't wiggle and catch your loved one off balance if they are leaned on. You can find the best option for your deck by working with a company like Riverside Ironwork Canada Railings.

Repair any loose or crumbling boards in the floor.

You might step over that crumbling board in habit, but your loved one's vision and balance may not be as good. He or she might trip on the board. Have it replaced so it no longer presents a hazard. If the board is so loose or damaged that you're worried about it giving out, you can place a big piece of plywood over it to distribute weight evenly over the area and prevent accidents until you can have it repaired.

Keep potted plants and other decor out of the walking path.

Push all of these items to the side of the patio. They might look nice arranged in the center or a few feet from the corners, but they present a tripping hazard for your loved one.

Put a spare key in a hidden location.

Elderly folks can be a little forgetful, and they might lock themselves outside on the patio. To prevent them from becoming stranded outside for too long, hide a key somewhere inconspicuous, such as under the grill cover or in a flower pot. Make sure it's somewhere your loved one can reach, and continually remind them where it is.

Your elderly loved one will probably love spending time out on the patio, particularly if you have a nicely landscaped backyard and good weather. If you follow the tips above, you'll ensure this experience is both enjoyable and safe.