Locating Safety Hazards for Seniors Living on Their Own | Executive Care of Freehold
Ideally, it is the best scenario for most seniors to live at home, but without proper safety precautions, it can be difficult for that to remain a reality for them.
You can help make sure your aging loved one is able to safely stay in his or her own home by taking some time to identify and remedy safety hazards that may be present.
Locating Safety Hazards
Certain areas of the home pose a higher risk for falls and fires, which are two very serious safety hazards for seniors. Those areas are the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen, so you’ll want to focus your safety hazard search in those places.
One of the greatest safety risks for seniors is falling. It’s a fact that one in four adults over age 65 fall each year. To help eliminate the risk of falls 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
Check to 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 investigate the appliances and other electrical items in the home to make sure they are in good working condition and that their electrical cords undamaged
It is important that your loved one is aware of different ways to exit the home in case of a fire, making sure that there are at least two ways to get out. Make sure the batteries in the smoke detector are also being changed and tested regularly as well.
For the bathroom, it is a good idea to adjust the thermostat on the water heater so it stays at or under 120 degrees. Anti-scalding devices are also available for purchase that can be installed in sinks, tubs and showers that will recognize when the water is too hot and stop the flow.
Simple Safety Tips
Advance preparation for many possible situations can help to ensure your loved one’s safety.
Make sure a list of emergency numbers is kept by each phone or are added to the contact list in his or her 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
It is also wise to make sure his or her home address is clearly visible from the street if there is ever a need for emergency responders to be called. 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 Freehold provides a full range of in-home care services that can make life easier and safer for your aging loved one.