Minimizing Safety Hazards at Home for Seniors | Executive Care of Princeton
Remaining at home as they age is ideal for many seniors, but without proper safety precautions, it could be difficult to make that a reality for them.
By identifying and remedying 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.
Identifying Safety Hazards
Areas of the home to focus your safety hazard search in are the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. These areas can contain the highest risk for falls and fires, which are two very serious safety hazards for seniors.
One of the greatest safety risks for seniors is falling—in fact, one in four adults over age 65 suffer from falls each year. To help eliminate the risk of falls for your aging loved one, you can do the following:
- Add a hall railing
- Get rid of throw rugs
- Apply non-slip wax to floors
- Use rubber-backed bath mats
- Remove wheels on chairs
- Keep steps clear of clutter
- Add a raised toilet and grab bars
- Repair loose carpeting or raised areas of flooring
- Make sure laundry facilities are on the first floor
Make sure your loved one doesn’t have too many electric cords plugged into one socket or extension cord, and 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?
Be sure to go over the ways your loved one could exit the home in case of a fire, making sure there are at least two ways to get out. Make sure the batteries in the smoke detector are being changed and tested regularly as well.
In the bathroom, it is also wise to adjust the thermostat on the water heater, so it stays at or under 120 degrees. There are also anti-scalding devices that can be installed in sinks, tubs and showers that will recognize when the water is too hot and stop the flow.
Quick and Easy Safety Tips
Being prepared for many possible scenarios can help bolster your loved one’s safety.
It is wise to 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.
You’ll also want to make sure a list of emergency numbers is kept by each phone or added to a cell phone contact list. Those numbers should include:
- Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222
- Family members or friends to call in case of emergency
- Healthcare provider’s office
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 Princeton provides a full range of in-home care services that can make life easier and safer for your aging loved one.