When mom was still living on her own at home there was nothing more important to me than to be sure her home was safe and that she was able to remain as independent as she could for as long as she could.
I’ll just say my mom has always been quite “feisty” and this is just one of her many great attributes that I love about her! She always wants to do things for herself (and does) as her Independence has always been extremely important to her and still is.
Something we can all do to help our seniors remain safe and independent for as long as they can is to ensure their home is as safe as possible and do what we can to help eliminate any potential issues that may cause them harm.
Please see below a list of suggestions….
-Post Emergency Phone Numbers that are easily readable (large print) and place on or near the telephone. Be sure to include 911 but also have numbers for family members, friends and/or neighbors who can be easily reached, including the Poison Control, Fire and Police Depts are always a good idea too.
-Check medications. All medications should be in the containers they came in and easily readable. All Prescriptions Meds should be clearly marked with name, doctors directions, contents and expiration date. Dispose of all outdated medications.
-Have at least one fire detector on every level of the home. Be sure to read and follow carefully directions for installation. Note: Some Fire Depts will provide assistance in acquiring and installing smoke detectors. *Remember to test and check batteries every few months.
-Eliminate the use of candles if at all possible to prevent potential fire hazards. Replace them with new battery operated candles which are attractive and can be set to automatically turn on and off.
-Develop an emergency exit plan and practice every now and then.
-Be sure all exits and passage ways are kept clear of obstructions. Rearrange furniture if needed to open up traffic flow areas and passageways for easier entry. Remove any obstructions such as boxes and clutter.
-Be sure hallways, passageways between rooms, and other heavy traffic areas are well lit. Use night lights for all areas commonly used during nighttime such as hallways, bathrooms, even the kitchen area.
-Keep operating flashlights easily accessible in most commonly used areas of home in case of power outage.
-Be sure all lamp, extension, and telephone cords are placed out of traffic flow areas.
- For the stairways, check handrails, the condition of the steps, coverings and also lighting.
-Be sure garage and basements have easy access to light switch and have unobstructed pathway areas.
-Small rugs and runners must be slip-resistant. I personally think all area rugs and runners should be taken out of the home for the potential trip and fall hazard is so great. If however your seniors are opposed to this then please see following suggestions.
1.Remove rugs and runners that tend to slide.
2.Purchase rugs with slip-resistant backing.
3.Place rubber matting under rugs. (Rubber matting that can be cut to size is available.)
-Have a good step stool easily accessible that is sturdy and in good repair. Get rid of any stools or ladders that are broken, unsteady or unsafe.
-Bathtubs and showers should have non-slip mats or even better, abrasive strips on these slippery surfaces.
-Bathtubs and Showers should have at least one grab bar as they can help with balance while getting into and out of the shower or tub preventing slips and falls. Check existing grab bars to ensure they are stable and repair or replace if needed.
-Place grab bar next to the commode in bathrooms to assist with balance getting up and down, this will also help prevent falls.
Many people over the age of 65 will suffer avoidable injuries that are associated with products in their own home which they are exposed to and use everyday. Countless injuries to our seniors can can be avoided by the simple measures mentioned above, all of which are very easy to correct.
I hope you find this list to be informative and helpful.
PLEASE NOTE: These are suggestions for things easily remedied…there are many other things that can prove to be hazardous for our seniors. Always seek out advice from Senior Care Professionals for instructions specifically tailored for your seniors own care.
I very much enjoy working with our seniors and assisting them with their real estate needs. Always feel free to call me with any questions or anyway I can help at all. :-)