Identifying Safety Hazards for Seniors at Home | Executive Care of Morristown
Most seniors would prefer to stay in their home as they age, but without the proper safety precautions, it can be difficult to make that a reality for them.
By taking the time to identify and remedy safety hazards that may be present, you can help make sure your aging loved one is able to safely stay in his or her own home.
Looking for Safety Hazards
The bathroom, bedroom and kitchen are the main areas of the home you’ll want to focus your safety hazard search in. It is these areas can contain the highest risk for falls and fires, which are two very serious safety hazards for seniors.
Falling poses one of the greatest safety risks for seniors. In fact, one in four adults over age 65 suffer from falls each year. Below is a list of ways to help eliminate the risk of falls for your aging loved one:
- Get rid of throw rugs
- Make sure laundry facilities are on the first floor
- Remove wheels on chairs
- Keep steps clear of clutter
- Apply non-slip wax to floors
- Add a hall railing
- Add a raised toilet and grab bars
- Use rubber-backed bath mats
- Repair loose carpeting or raised areas of flooring
Watch the electrical cords and make sure there are not too many electric cords plugged into one socket or extension cord. You will also want to take the time to evaluate the appliances and other electrical items in the home. Are they in good working condition and are their electrical cords undamaged?
Identify ways with your loved one that he or she can exit the home in case of a fire, making sure there are at least two ways to get out. Batteries in the smoke detector need to be changed and tested regularly as well.
Where the bathroom is concerned, it is a good idea to adjust the thermostat on the water heater so it stays at or under 120 degrees. Anti-scalding devices can also be installed in sinks, tubs and showers that will recognize when the water is too hot and stop the flow.
Quick Safety Tips
When you have done everything possible to prepare for the many possible scenarios, it can help bolster your loved one’s safety.
Put together a list of emergency numbers to be kept by each phone and added into the contact list of a cell phone. Those numbers should include:
- Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222
- Family members or friends to call in case of emergency
- Healthcare provider’s office
For possible emergency purposes, make sure his or her home address is clearly visible from the street. You can install larger house numbers in metal or stickers to make them more visible and could also spray paint the house numbers on the street curb.
There can be many safety concerns for seniors living alone at home, but fortunately, we’re here to help address some of those concerns. Executive Care of Morristown provides a full range of in-home care services that can make life easier and safer for your aging loved one.