The safety of the elderly is a major concern in our lives, as falls and fire are common accidents among the older generation. However, the risks of these types of accidents in the home can be significantly reduced through taking the following precautionary steps.
Falls, trips, and slips are some of the most frequent causes of physical injury in the elderly. Inadequate lighting, slick tiles, uncarpeted stairs, along with diminished reflex time and balance, make the home a more dangerous place than it should be. To lower the risk of falls, consider the following safeguards.
– Install solid handrails on the stairs, in the bathroom, etc.
– Put non-slip mats on the bathroom floor and in the tub.
– Hardwood floors are slippery, especially after cleaning and waxing. Place low-pile rugs in all hazardous areas and put non-slip mats under all rugs.
– Rugs are particularly good for gripping one’s feet, but fringed edges can be tripped over. Keep the edges hugging the walls?
– Thresholds to any doorway should be as low as possible.
– Keep all wires and cables tucked in and/or close to the walls.
– Check that there are no holes in the yard area. Check that there are no loose boards on the porch.
Home fires are also quite common in homes of the elderly. This is not due to utter carelessness on the part of the elderly. In large part, it is merely the failure to see the potential dangers before the actual problem arises. Here are a few tips to counter such hazards.
– Check the fire alarms frequently to be certain they are in good working order. Change the batteries as soon as it is discovered they are dead.
– Keep a fire extinguisher close at hand.
– Maintain any and all exits clutter-free.
– Use kitchen appliances that are clearly marked. All the knobs and switches should be easily understood and accessible.
– Make sure no electrical appliances are near any sinks or bathtubs.
– Check the wires of all appliances. They should all be properly insulated.
– Use safety plugs for electrical sockets that are not in use.
For further home security, the following should be used as broad guidelines for any homes with elderly occupants.
– Every one should be well-lit, as in dimly lit areas, one may have difficulty seeing any and all potential hazards. Use nightlights for the stairs and hallways. Use illuminated light switches. Clap-on, clap-off light systems are particularly convenient.
– Stay organized and tidy. Keeping things in generally the same place will facilitate in, not only locating them, but also creating a route around the house to which one can accustom oneself.
– Keep the phones in easy reach in the kitchen, the living room, and the bedroom. Consider keeping a wireless phone in the bathroom as well. Have a list of emergency numbers handy.
These rules of thumb should tighten home security for the elderly. Though there will always exist the risk of accidents in the home, these tips will reduce the chances of falls and fires in a loved one’s home.
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