10 Tips for Senior Home Safety

9/3/2013

A senior’s ability to remain living in their home often hings on one main factor – safety. When unprepared, the typical home environment possess a myriad of dangers to a senior with declining vision,  mobility, and/or motor skills. By following the tips below, you can help maintain a safe living environment for your loved one.

1. Fall devices are life savers. Get a Medical Alert System such as 2nd Family’s LifeAid. This will ensure that, even in the event of a fall, your loved one will have medical assistance sent to him or her immediately.

2. Remove all throw rugs and area rugs. Though these rugs may look nice, they dramatically increase the risk of fall and injury. Even the slightest change in elevation can cause a senior to become unsteady on their feet.

3. Install grab bars in the shower and next to the toilet. As you can imagine, the bathroom is full of hazards for a senior with poor mobility. Wet, slippery surfaces combined with bending and twisting is a recipe for falls. Ensure that the bars are installed by a professional and the bathroom will be a much safer place.

4. Install nightlights. Many falls take place in the dark of night. Install nightlights in the bedroom, hallway, bathroom, and kitchen to ensure that any trip during the night aren’t taken in the dark.

5. Dial back the hot water heater.  To prevent scalds from hot water, dial the temperature on the hot water heater back to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

6. Monitor the medication.  Taking the right meds at the right time on the right day is important. Keep track of everything mediation related with a device like the 2nd Family MedReminder.

7. Know when it’s time to disconnect the stove. This is especially true for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Leaving the stove on or leaving something on the stove too long can be very dangerous situations. Make sure that your loved one is still capable of safely operating the stove. If not, it’s time to disconnect it or use a safety switch.

8. Use a properly-fitted walking aid. Whether using a walker or a cane, it’s important that the length and grip be properly fitted for the senior.

9. Watch the cords. Make sure that all cords are out of the way. Phone cords, electric cords, lamp cords, etc. can all contribute to a fall.

10. Find the right shoes. As simple as it may sound, the right shoes make a big difference. The shoes should fit comfortably and have a non-slip sole.

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