Identifying Risks for Seniors Living at Home | Executive Care of Great Neck
Living at home is the ideal scenario for most seniors, but without proper safety precautions, it can be difficult to remain a reality for them.
By identifying and remedying safety hazards that may be present, you can help make sure your aging loved one is able to safely stay in his or her own home.
Finding the Safety Hazards
Areas of the home you’ll want to focus your safety hazard search in are the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. These areas can contain the highest risk for falls and fires, which are two very serious safety hazards for seniors.
One of the greatest safety risks 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
Make sure your loved one doesn’t have too many electric cords plugged into one socket or extension cord, and take the time to evaluate the appliances and other electrical items in the home. Are they in good working condition and are their electrical cords undamaged?
Be sure to go over the ways your loved one could exit the home in case of a fire, making sure they have at least two ways to get out. Make sure the batteries in the smoke detector are being changed and tested regularly as well.
In the bathroom, it is also wise to adjust the thermostat on the water heater so it stays at or under 120 degrees. 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.
Additional Safety Tips
Being prepared for many possible scenarios can help bolster your loved one’s safety.
You’ll want to make sure a list of emergency numbers is kept by each phone and 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
If emergency responders are ever needed, it is wise to make sure your loved one’s home address is clearly visible from the street. This can be done by installing larger house numbers in metal or stickers to make them more visible, or you 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 Great Neck provides a full range of in-home care services that can make life easier and safer for your aging loved one.