Solving Safety Hazards for Seniors at Home | Executive Care of Montgomery County
Most seniors, if given a choice, would prefer to remain at home as they age, but without the proper safety precautions, it is not always possible. You can help make sure your aging loved one is able to stay safely in his or her home by identifying and remedying safety hazards that may be present.
Finding Safety Hazards
There are a few areas of the home you’ll want to focus your safety hazard search in. They are the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen, which can contain the highest risk for falls and fires—two very serious safety hazards for seniors.
A huge safety risk for seniors is falling. In fact, one in four adults over age 65 suffer from falls 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 out electrical cords to make sure your loved one doesn’t have too many plugged into one socket or extension cord. You will also want to check out the appliances and other electrical items in the home to ensure they are in good working condition and that the electrical cords are undamaged.
Identify, with your loved one, ways he or she will be able to exit the home in case of a fire, ensuring there are at least two ways out. Make sure the batteries in the smoke detector are being changed and tested regularly as well.
Check the thermostat on the hot water heater so the water stays at or under 120 degrees for bathtubs, sinks and showers. There are also 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.
Simple Safety Tips
Being prepared for many possible scenarios can help bolster your loved one’s safety.
Emergency numbers need to be readily available and kept by each phone or are added to the contact list in 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
It is also important to have his or her home address clearly visible from the street. 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 Montgomery County provides a full range of in-home care services that can make life easier and safer for your aging loved one.