Home safety for seniors and their caregivers

posted in: Caregiving, In the Home | 0
General Safety
  • Always get up slowly after sitting or lying down. Take your time, and make sure you have your balance.
  • Wear proper fitting shoes with low heels. Encourage your senior to always wear shoes with front and backs to them when walking, especially if use an assistive device.
  • Use a correctly measured walking aid.
  • Remove (or tack down) all scatter and/or area rugs. It is best to remove them, even ones that have been tacked down or taped down pose a walking hazard.
  • Remove electrical or telephone cords from traffic areas.
  • Wipe up spills promptly. Avoid using slippery wax on floors, Clean with soapy water and dry thoroughly.
  • Avoid standing
  • on ladders or chairs. Keep items at a safe and reachable distance for your seniors.Have sturdy rails for all stairs inside and outside the house..
  • Due to many seniors suffering from failing eye sight only use non-glare 100 watt or greater incandescent bulbs (or the fluorescent equivalents).
  • Make sure that all stair cases have good lighting with switches at top and bottom.
  • Staircase steps should have a non-slip surface
  • Keep a fire extinguisher and smoke detector on every floor. (Smoke detectors are recommended for every room.)
  • Consider a medical alert or a buddy system. If your senior is alone and a medical alert system isn’t affordable, suggest setting up a buddy system, where your senior and another senior or neighbor call each other daily to just “check in” with one another and that those two individuals have access to family emergency contact info to call when the other doesn’t answer in a designated amount of time.
Bathroom Safety
  • Leave a light on in your bathroom at night.
  • Use recommended bath aids, securely installed on the walls of the bath/shower stall and on the sides of the toilet. If some of your seniors cannot afford these items but are receiving home health services talk to their physical therapist and let them know these items are needed. Many times Medicare will cover these addaptive devices if they are receiving therapy services.
  • Skid-proof the tub and make sure the bath mat has a non-slip bottom.
  • To avoid scalds, turn water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
  • Mark cold and hot faucets clearly.
  • Use door locks that can be opened from both sides.
  • If possible, bathe only when help is available.
Kitchen Safety
  • Keep floors clean and uncluttered. No rugs in kitchen!
  • Illuminate work areas.
  • Mark “on” and “off” positions on appliances clearly and with bright colors. Use florescent tape/paper!
  • Store sharp knives in a rack.
  • Use a kettle with an automatic shut off.
  • Store heavier objects at waist level.
  • Store hazardous items separate from food.
  • If your senior still likes to cook have them avoid wearing long, loose clothing when cooking over the stove. As well as making sure they are using pot holders/protective devices. Seniors occasionally loose feeling/sensitivity as they age and therefore are prone to burns/scalds.
  • Make sure food is rotated regularly. Check expiration dates. Due to the depression era mentality, seniors will use food/products well past their expirations. They don’t want to be wasteful, or they feel they are on a limited budget and cannot afford to replace them. Please make sure to discard expired food/beverages….and if you cannot…inform family so that they can.

OUR THANKS TO JENNIFER KOLAWOLE, OF ROSEWOOD HOME HEALTH, FOR SHARING THE ABOVE INFORMATION WITH OUR MORNING GLORY STAFF!