Most of the seniors in America live alone. As they have no helping hand, they might be in some potential dangers of unexpected fall or something more serious. Safety for the older adult is a significant concern for the families. The old people are incapable of doing any heavy work, or sometimes they cannot take the stairs due to physical problems like arthritis. If they are living alone by themselves then might need to do some tiresome or risky work occasionally. If you ensure required safety measure for them in-house, then the probability of any mishappening can be minimized to some extent. We are presenting you the in-home safety tips for seniors and caregivers.
If you apply some useful and straightforward tricks in your house where your loved older adult lives, then you can reduce the danger making his or her life risk-free. The senior people like to feel independent when they start aging. You can help them by following these rules:
- You can use cord covers for cords and cables or keep them out of the way behind furniture.
- Every room should have sufficient lighting including the walk-in-closets. You can use nightlight too.
- You can cover all the corners of the furniture to prevent any injury if you bump into them.
- At the staircase space, you can install light switches.
- Check all the rugs have anti-slipping pads or not.
- Must use handrails for the staircase.
- Use proper markings if there are different floor levels in your house to make them visible.
- To enlarge the walking space, you can declutter your house.
- To prevent slipping, you need to remove carpets from the stairs.
- You can install grab bars on the walls of the bathroom for safety.
- You can install a light or lamp very close to the bed of the senior person in your house. Check that he or she can reach it quickly.
- If it becomes harder to use staircase for the older adult, then you can install a stair lift.
- Keep all the essentials within the easy reach, not on the shelves that are difficult to reach.
- Make sure that, the bed is not so high or not so low for the old person.
- If the older adult has any difficulty to stand for showering, then place shower seats or toilet seats.
- To prevent slipping you can use bathtub or rubber mats in the shower.
- Check all the electric lines of the house if they are working or not including the air conditioner line.
- Make sure that the faucets are easy to turn on and off.
- Try to service your home appliances every 3 to 6 months. Check the refrigerator is working correctly or not.
- Don’t set the water boiler thermostat to ‘Hot ’. Try to set ‘Medium’ instead.
- Make sure that your kitchen counter area is easy to reach. Lower them if it is too high.
- As the mixing of all the cleaning products might be harmful, don’t mix them without being assured.
- Within an easy reach, you can use a cordless phone.
- Keep the floor always dry and make sure that the older adult is not walking on the damp surfaces.
- You can give a medical alert device to the old person for an emergency.
- Make sure that the senior wears anti-slip slippers or socks in the home.
Fire and kitchen safety tips
- If you are sleeping or out of the home, then don’t leave the dryer running.
- Uncleaned dryer vent causes a fire. So, you need to clean the vent by professional plumber once in every three months.
- Check the carbon monoxide, and smoke detectors are working correctly or not. Consider replacing the expired batteries. If the carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors are more than ten years old, then replace them at the earliest possible.
- Keep a working fire extinguisher at home always.
- Don’t dry products containing rubber, plastic or foam such as rubber bathmats, rugs, and shoes.
- Turn off all the heaters before going outside of the home. Never try to use an oven as a heating source.
- If the senior person smokes, then suggest him that not to smoke on the bed or somewhere oxygen is used.
- Keep almost 3 feet of space as safety zone around any heater.
- Turn off the stove while you are going out.
- If the power cord of any appliance is torn, then replace it immediately.
- Try to be in the kitchen when you are cooking. Don’t keep the cooking stove unattended.
- Never leave candles burning in the empty room.
- In case of a fire break in the home, never try to put off the fire by yourself. Call 911 and immediately exit.
- Make sure that the extension cords or the power socket are not overloaded.
- Keep at least two exit ways from the house and try to prepare for any fire break-out in advance.
Food safety tips for the seniors
- Check all the food packaging for the expiration dates before taking food. If any food is expired, then discard it.
- Raw foods are not healthy for the older adults. So keep them away from the senior as well as uncooked and unpasteurized food.
- Before eating or handling the food, make sure that the senior is washing his or her hands with hand wash.
- You need to clean the food items properly before placing in the refrigerator.
- Keep the older adult hydrated and make sure that they have pure drinking water close to them.
- Try to keep all the perishable food products in the refrigerator to prevent spoiling.
- If the old person is to maintain a particular diet chart by his physician, then make sure that he is following it.
Elderly home safety checklist or assessment also includes some safety devices which are helpful for the senior. Burn alert for stovetops, Canary home security system, MedSmart automatic pill dispenser, first alert motion sensing light are advantageous as the safety devices to keep in the house.
Seniors should always be in the safe zone. As they cannot manage themselves all the vital security measures, then we need to help them lead a healthy, happy and safe life by following these simple safety tips. We should reduce the possibility of the risk as much as we can.
Dr. CHRISTIAN-JEVON BRAMWELL MD
Christian Bramwell, MD uses his own weight loss story as teaching for people struggling with their own weight through blogging, teaching, and writing. His mission in life is to promote health and education, that is why he has chosen to be a family physician and found his own nonprofit Project RAK based on education and empowerment.
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