The safety of your loved one’s home is crucial. You not only want him or her to feel safe, but you also want the peace of mind that this person is safe. With 7 simple security measures, your loved one’s home is transformed into a safe home:
Bathroom – This is the place where most at-home accidents occur. Non-skid mats, shower chairs and raised toilet seats are excellent ideas to prevent accidents. Check out a previous blog post dedicated to bathroom safety.
Fire Alarms – Install fire alarms that flash and beep for those who are hard of seeing and/or hearing.
Area Rugs – Loose rugs are decorative, but not always safe. It’s very easy for them to get bunched up and become tripping hazards.
Ramps or Rails – If not in place already, consider adding a ramp or rails at the entrance of your loved one’s home.
Lights – Make sure each room has plenty of light! Light switches just inside the entrance of each room are preferable, but if that’s not possible, install large, battery-operated lights that affix with light adhesive to the walls and are controlled by tapping the surface. Nightlights in hallways, especially from the bedroom to the bathroom, are very helpful.
Bright Tape or Paint – Apply bright fluorescent tape to the edges of steps and raised thresholds so that they will be easier to see. Don’t be hesitant to paint fluorescent markers on the dials of the stove so your loved one is able to tell if they are turned on or off.
Emergency Communication – Some form of life alert system, or even a cell phone or pager, is a necessary precaution in case of an emergency. Print out a list of emergency contacts with large numbers, too.
But what about if your loved one comes to visit you for a few days? Elderly home safety means you have to make sure your home is safe, too! Check back for some tips on how to ensure your loved one has a safe stay at your home, or subscribe to the Blog on the left!
Senior Home Safety: Your Own Home – columbus fire and safety
When you have a visitor, you want to make them feel at home. When this visitor is your elderly loved one, this also includes making them feel safe.
Here are 5 tips to prepare your home for a visit from your loved one:
Easy Reach – Keep all items that your loved one uses most often in an area of easy access, like a shelf or drawer in reach. Prevent any chance your loved one might try to stand on a chair or uneven surface to reach something!
Temperature – Because your loved one has an older circulatory system, he or she may feel cold easier and more often than others in your house. Make sure you have extra blankets and sweaters. If possible, turn the thermostat up a bit.
De-Clutter – Put away the clutter! Any toys, games, shoes or other belongings that are lying around are potential trip hazards. Make sure all members of your family, especially children, understand the danger that these stray items pose.
Dangerous Chemicals – Make sure any household chemicals are locked up safely. Your loved one may mistake a dangerous substance for mouthwash or shampoo, so just leaving them under the sink isn’t the safest option.
Prescriptions – Keep family prescriptions in a separate place from your loved one’s so they don’t get mixed up!
When it comes to your loved one’s home, or your home when he or she visits, a happy home is a safe home.
We hope you enjoyed this week’s series on elderly home safety! Be sure to visit us here at The Caring Blog next week when we will discuss recognizing your senior caregivers, or subscribe to our Blog!
Elderly Caution in the Kitchen: 10 Don’t Do Clues – columbus fire and safety
Here at The Caring Blog we’re talking about kitchen safety for your elderly loved one. Here are 10 tips to hazard-proof the kitchen:
1. Throw Out the Rugs – Throw rugs are a major fall hazard for the elderly and are known to result in permanent disabilities. Remove area rugs from the kitchen floor.
2. Cut the Cords – Dangling cords are another trip-and-fall hazard, so make sure all electrical cords are covered or tacked down.
2.5 — Not-so-shocking Extra! Place socket covers over the electrical sockets that aren’t in use. Not only does this prevent shock, but it also provides energy efficient thermal seal insulation.
3. Extinguish the Flammables — Store all flammable liquids, like lighter fluid, in a safe location out of the kitchen, and preferably, out of the house. Check under your loved one’s kitchen sink for other combustible compounds.
4. Chuck the Junk – The dreaded ‘junk drawer’ is an extra hot spot for hazardous items like matches, erasers and plastic that an elderly person with Alzheimer’s or dementia may mistakenly consume. Even if your loved one doesn’t have a cognitive disorder, clearing out the junk drawer is definitely a good idea.
5. Dispose the Disposal – Garbage disposals, while very convenient, pose the risk of electrical shock, lacerations and even bacteria buildup if not used properly! If you think it’s a good idea to do away with the disposal, do so and disengage it.
6. Lock Up the Loaded Drawers – Install child-proof locks or latches to cupboards and drawers that contain knives, cooking utensils and other objects that may cause injury.
7. Secure the Stove – Consider removing the knobs, especially if your loved one doesn’t use the stove — you can always put them back on if the stove use is needed. Also, installing a shut-off valve for the gas is an excellent idea.
8. Light the Way – Nightlights in the kitchen help prevent injuries when your loved one gets up to get water or a snack at night.
9. Give Up the Gadgets – If necessary, remove counter-top appliances like blenders, mixers, toasters or coffee makers. Anything electrical poses a shocking risk. And, as stated above, make sure cords of appliances you keep are covered or tacked down and away from sinks and stove tops.
10. The closing clue! – Our closing clue for hazard-proofing your loved one’s kitchen is a bit of a no-brainer, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention it…
Is there a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen? If so, that’s good news – but make sure it’s not near the stove or heater so you avoid a combustion issue. If for some reason a fire extinguisher is not present or available, keep salt and/or baking soda handy! These substances can be used to help put out grease fires.
As you’re surely aware, it can be difficult to convince an elderly person to change or reorganize things – especially when it’s a part of his or her home. Stress the importance of kitchen safety and involve your loved one in the process. This way, he or she will feel involved and may even get excited about the changes!
Thanks for reading; we hope you found this week’s kitchen caution counseling full of informative and motivating advice. Subscribe to the blog so you’re sure to catch next week’s posts!