February 10, 2015

Making Your Home Safe for Seniors

In past blogs we have discussed bathroom safety for seniors since the bathroom tends to be one of the common fall locations. But what about the the rest of the house?  How can you make an elderly loved one safer in their home? Here are a few tips to protect your family members.

  • Entrances – For safety purposes consider dead bolts on all exits and entrances. For ease of use consider easy to turn handles.
  • Alert Bracelet – Consider investing in a medical alert bracelet or pendant in case your loved one falls and can not make it to the phone.  We will be discussing this at a later date in our blog.
  • Hand Rails – Install hand rails for all locations where a senior may need to get up and down.  This may include stairs, chairs, beds, and other areas.  Be sure rails are properly installed so that they are sturdy.  This will stop elderly family members from pulling up on items that are not meant to be used for support.
  • Important Information – Post in a common area all important phone numbers and addresses including doctors, family members, pharmacy numbers, and neighbors.
  • Prepare for emergencies – Put a flashlight and phone near a bedside table for ease of use in case of a power outage or other emergency that may occur at night while sleeping.
  • Ease of Movement – Remove any rugs or small furniture that could become a tripping hazard.  This may include sanding or lowering door thresholds which can easily cause a fall.  Keep clutter to a minimum so that items are not underfoot. Make sure extension cords are carefully kept out of the way of walking areas.
  • Water Heater – Keep the thermostat on the water heater at the lower setting of 120 degrees to avoid scalding accidents.
  • Medicines – Keep all medicines in a safe locations in their original bottles that are clearly marked.
  • Smoke and CO alarms – Be sure to change batteries in all smoke and CO alarms twice yearly.  Many people use the daylight savings time as their time to change these items.
  • Lighting – Maintain good lighting in hallways and main living areas.  Use nightlights for main routes to the bathroom during sleeping hours.

Visit us again as we will be discussing safety in the kitchen and “out and about” in future blogs.  Stay Healthy and Safe!