Simple Changes by John Conley with Show Me Systems

Heather Johansen

Most people don’t realize the hazards in their own home. The reason for that is they are used to them. These so called hazards are often created by us and we are so accustomed to them that we don’t even realize they are there.  As we all age and grow less agile at dodging and swerving around corners it becomes more important to consider the dangers.  From the time we hit that magic number of thirty (30), yes I said thirty, we begin to lose bone density and muscle mass.  So imagine what has happened by the time we hit fifty?  It is going to happen and we can’t stop it, but there are many methods of dealing with this and one is to make your home safer.

Safety can be about personal safety and physical safety. I want to talk a little bit about both.  Let us begin with what gets most of us, clutter.  Yes, clutter is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to home safety.  Clutter takes up space and I am sure many of you have seen the cartoons of opening a closet and everything falls out and buries the person opening the doors.   Well this is a real thing and not just a cartoon. It’s our stuff, right? It means something, or once did, so we stick it away and just know that we will enjoy it again…someday. In reality very few people ever do go back to it.  Many times it is not even our stuff! We keep our children’s, or other family members stuff, and end up being a storage facility. Most times clutter does not just stay in closets and it is not always little stuff. Clutter can be furniture or stacks of books or magazines that we want to use or read someday. The problem is that someday will probably never get here.  Or we have that extra table or or sofa that we just love and it is in pretty good condition so we hate to get rid of it.  But all this creates hazards in the home, from having to move it to clean or just navigate around it all the time.  We grow so accustomed to accommodating the stuff that we don’t realize how dangerous it can be. And not just for us but other family members or guest in our homes.  Every person has a different type and amount of clutter but it can be anything you have to much of or just don’t need.

The second culprit I will pick on here is lighting.  Another fact of aging is that our eyesight is often not as eagle sharp as it once was. Yes I am speaking from experience here. Face it we could and often do navigate our homes in the dark at night when we might get up for a bathroom visit or 3 AM snack. Let’s admit that most of us have to do one or both occasionally as we age.  Often we might have to do this multiple times in a night.  Now usually we navigate this ok, but there is that occasion where we happen to hit the door frame or bed post with our toe and boy howdy doody does it wake us up! (And usually everybody else in the house) Just some simple night lights that plug into outlets can provide a soft glow to provide enough light to guide us safely to our middle of the night destination.  Many of these lights do not even require you to turn them on, they come on when it is dark enough.  I also like to pick on lighting for security reasons.  Just adding simple motion activated dusk to dawn style flood lights on the exterior of our homes can provide extra protections from danger.

My final thoughts to share with you on this is about cords.  With all the technology and devices we have now we are placing more and more cords in our homes.  These are great as long as they are out of the way. Often though we place convenience over safety and don’t think about having a cord running across the room. After all we know it is there so what is the issue.  Well I am sure a few of you have seen the times when somebody else got their feet tangled up in a cord and stumbled or fell.  (Not me obviously, but I am sure it has happened!) There are most often alternatives available, such as buying a longer or extension cord or moving the device so the cord is routed in a safer manner.  

These are just a few tips I wanted to share with you. If you are serious about making your home safer there are services that can come out and help.  But the first step is yours.


Leave a Comment