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Creating a Safe Home for Senior

In-home accidents result in approximately 7,000 elderly deaths each year, with countless others being seriously injured and requiring hospitalization.  It goes without saying that most seniors want to live out their lives in the comfort of their own home, but in order to do so, they need to do it safely. If you are concerned about the safety of your loved ones, consider making an in-home safety assessment and making needed in home safety improvements to insure peace of mind and a safe living environment.

Start by making an assessment of each room of the home, listing what potential hazards currently exist. As you make your assessment, it’s important to take your loved ones current medical and mobility issues into account.

Safety Hazards to Look For:

The most common risks for seniors include: falling, scalding, kitchen and bathroom accidents, misuse of medications, and the need for immediate emergency services, so pay particular attention to ways of eliminating these possible conditions. Including:

  • Home Security: Can all doors and windows be easily locked?
  • Is there an security system that can be easily activated?
  • Smoke Alarms: Do they exist, and do they need new batteries?
  • Bathrooms: Is the tub, showers and floor surface slip proof?
  • Are there grab bars for the tub, shower and toilet?
  • Stairs: Are there adequate railings and are they properly secured?
  • Trip Hazards: Can small rugs and unnecessary furniture and clutter be removed?
  • Medications: Are medication clearly labeled and stored in a safe area?
  • Communication: Are phones and panic buttons in easily accessible locations?
  • Furniture: Are the any unsafe chairs or top heavy furnishings that could be eliminated?
  • Safety Equipment: Do you need to purchase oxygen, canes, walkers, wheelchairs, etc.?

Consider Making Safety Improvements:

  • Install Grab Bars, ramps and hand railings
  • Establish a clear escape route in the event of fire, and practice it
  • Install a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, and learn how to use it
  • Install nightlights in bedrooms, bathrooms and hallways
  • Install a secure shower/tub chair
  • Install an Electric Chair Lift in stairwells
  • Install slip-proof mats in bathrooms and kitchen
  • Raise toilet heights
  • Install a walk-in tub
  • Install a Medical Alert System with a personal alert pendant
  • Set water heater thermostat to 120 degrees or below
  • Keep flashlights handy in all rooms of the home
  • Program 911, police and fire emergency phone numbers in all phones and cell phones

Many of these safety improvements are inexpensive and can be done by family members or a trusted handyman. Also consider having a professional In-Home Care Provider stop in to teach you how to better navigate and live more safely within the home.

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