Uncovering Safety Hazards for Older Adults Living at Home | Executive Care of Richmond

 

An ideal scenario for most seniors would be to remain at home as they age, but without proper safety precautions, it can be difficult for that to become 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.

Identifying Safety Hazards

There are certain areas of the home you’ll want to pay more attention to. Those are the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen as 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 and health risks for seniors is falling. In fact, one in four adults over age 65 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 that your loved one has not plugged too many electrical cords into one socket or extension cord and check out all appliances and other electrical items in the home. Are they in good working condition and are their electrical cords undamaged?

Identify with your loved one ways to exit the home in case of a fire, making sure there are at least two ways to get out. Make sure the batteries in the smoke detector are being changed and tested regularly as well.

Water temperature in the bathroom is another hazard, so it is wise to adjust the thermostat on the water heater for a temperature no higher than 120 degrees. There are also anti-scalding devices available that can be installed in sinks, tubs and showers that will recognize when the water is too hot and stop the flow.

Extra Safety Tips

Being prepared for many possible scenarios can help bolster your loved one’s safety.

There should be a list of emergency numbers kept by each phone or added to a cell phone contact list. Those numbers should include:

  • 911
  • Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222
  • Family members or friends to call in case of emergency
  • Healthcare provider’s office

Do what you can to make sure his or her home address is 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 Richmond provides a full range of in-home care services that can make life easier and safer for your aging loved one.

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