Identifying & Resolving Safety Hazards for Seniors at Home | Executive Care of Somerville
Most seniors would prefer to remain in their home as they age, but proper safety precautions must be taken or it can be difficult to remain a reality for them.
You can make sure your aging loved one is able to stay safely in his or her own home by identifying and remedying safety hazards that may be present.
Finding the Safety Hazards
The main areas of the home you’ll want to focus your safety hazard search in are the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. These areas often hold the highest risk for falls and fires, which are two very serious safety hazards for seniors.
Seniors’ greatest safety risk is falling—in fact, one in four adults over age 65 fall each year. In order to help eliminate this risk for your aging loved one, you can do the following:
- 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
Look around and make sure your loved one doesn’t have too many electric cords plugged into one socket or extension cord. You will also want to take the time to check the appliances and other electrical items in the home to be sure they are in good working condition and that their electrical cords are undamaged.
Review different exit strategies from the home in event of a fire, making sure he or she will have at least two ways to get out. Check that the batteries in the smoke detectors are being changed and tested regularly as well.
It is also wise to adjust the thermostat on the water heater so it stays at or under 120 degrees in the bathroom. You can also purchase 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 Safety Tips
Being prepared for possible safety risk scenarios can help bolster your loved one’s safety.
Compile a list of emergency numbers to be kept by each phone or added to 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
Is his or her home address clearly visible from the street? By installing larger house numbers in metal or stickers or pray painting his or her 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 Somerville provides a full range of in-home care services that can make life easier and safer for your aging loved one.