As seniors age, they become more susceptible to suffering an accident in their home. Falls and fire are two of the most common causes of injury among seniors. The following are some preventive measures to ensure optimum safety when at home.
- Lighting – Make sure you have strong lighting in your home. Put nightlights in your bedroom, hallways, stairs and bathrooms. Use the maximum wattage bulb allowed by the fixture. If you don’t know the correct wattage, use a bulb no larger than 60 watts.
- Rugs – Fasten rugs to the floor or use nonskid backing. Loose ends should be tacked down.
- Clutter – Remove clutter, including electrical cords, from the flow of traffic.
- Stairs – Keep the stairs clear. Apply abrasive strips to each step and install handrails on both sides.
- Storage – Make sure items are stored within easy reach.
- Footwear – Wear shoes with firm nonskid soles. Avoid wearing loose-fitting slippers that could cause you to trip.
- Telephone – Have access to a telephone if you fall. Have at least one telephone located where it would be accessible in the event of an accident that leaves you unable to stand.
- Exercise – It makes you stronger, helps you feel better, and can improve balance and coordination.
- Smoke Alarm – Install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your residence.
- Carbon Monoxide Detector – Install a carbon monoxide detector near each of the occupied bedrooms. Known as the “silent killer,” carbon monoxide can leak from a faulty stove, fireplace or heater, or can seep into your home if a car is left running in the garage. Some fire departments or local governments will provide assistance in acquiring or installing detectors.
- Cooking – When cooking, wear clothing with short or close-fitting sleeves. Long sleeves are more likely to catch fire and more apt to catch on pot handles, overturning pots and pans and causing scalds. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 70% of all people who die from clothing fires are over the age of 65.
- Smoking – If you smoke, use deep, stable ashtrays. Don’t smoke in bed.
- Candles – Keep candles away from furniture, drapes and other material that can catch fire. Be sure to put all candles out when you leave the home or go to bed.
Other Household Safety Measures
- Keep all electrical appliances away from water.
- Keep poisons in their place.
- Turn pot handles away from you when cooking.
- Don’t overload your electric receptacles.
How THA Group Can Help
- Home safety and emergency education
- Home safety evaluation
- Prevention education
- Medication education and management
- Observation and assessment
- Wellness education
- Exercise instruction
- Management and evaluation of patient care plan
- Patient and family education of disease process
- Pain management
- Nutritional support
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Social work services