Friday, June 6, 2014

Checklist for Keeping Your Senior’s Home Safe

With the popularity of in-home senior care, it is important to make sure that you and your older loved one know about potential dangers around the home. Together, you two can take steps to prepare for safety and ensure that your loved one’s house is a senior-friendly environment they can feel comfortable in. 
Every year, one in three older adults will fall. These events can lead to life-changing injuries, such as head trauma. In fact, falls are the leading cause of injury in the elderly. But by planning ahead, you can reduce the risks and help to keep your loved one safe. Conduct a home safety check around your friend or family member’s house to spot major risks and learn what you can do to remove them.
Bathroom Safety
-Keep a nightlight on in the bathroom after dark.
-Use bath aids, such as support bars, in the bath, shower, and by the toilet. 
-Install non-slip stickers in the bath or shower. 
-Keep the water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to avoid scalding.
-Clearly mark hot and cold faucets.
-Install door locks that can be opened from the inside and outside of the room.
-Bathe when other people are in the home. 
Kitchen Safety
-Remove any clutter or obstructions from the floor or walkways.
-Keep work areas well lit.
-Clearly mark “off” and “on” positions on appliances with brightly colored stickers.
-Store knives in a sturdy rack.
-Keep heavy objects stored at waist height.
-Always separate hazardous items from food.
-Check expiration dates on foods regularly.
Medication Safety
-Regularly review medications with your loved one and his or her doctor.
-Clearly label all prescriptions.
-Throw away any old, unnecessary, or expired medications.
Living Room Safety
-Make sure that all furniture is secure and will not easily slip.
-Opt for furniture that is easy to get in and out of.
-Choose furniture with full arms to provide support while standing up or sitting down.
-Clear all walkways of obstructions or cords. 
Bedroom Safety
-Keep a flashlight within reach of the bed and check batteries regularly.
-Use a nightlight to illuminate the bedroom after dark.
-Install low-pile, wall-to-wall carpeting or opt for a smooth surfaced floor covering.
-Keep a phone on the nightstand or within reach while in bed.
Outdoor Safety
-Check walkways and stairs to make sure they are not uneven and could not cause tripping.
-Securely fasten all handrails.
-Install proper lighting near steps, doorways, walkways, and porches.
-Trim shrubs, hedges, and trees to make sure they do not block the view of the street while pulling out of the driveway. 
-Ensure that the garage is properly ventilated and that the doors are easy to operate, even if snow is weighing them down. 
General Safety
-Develop a buddy system or consider investing in a medical alert system.
-Make sure there is a smoke detector and fire extinguisher on all floors of the house.
-Remove all cords from trafficked areas, such as hallways.
-Use non-skid wax on floors.
-Ensure that proper lighting is installed in all rooms, including at the top and bottom of all stairways.
-Remove any slippery surfaces from stairs.
By following this checklist and looking for any other hazards around the home, you can help keep your older loved one safe in their house. When it comes to elder care, Durham families can use these tips to conduct a safety check and protect the family and friends they love. 

1 comment:

  1. It was a difficult task for my family to make the home safe for my mother when she moved in not too long ago. The adjustment was big even though my mother can still do most things for herself. I found a few of these tips very helpful and have decided to do another check to make sure everything is safe. Thanks for the tips!