|A look at three major areas which need to be focused.|
When my parents decided to move closer to us, I worried about whether their new house would be safe for them. While their priority was to be within a few miles of my family I worried about how well they would do in their new home when I wasn’t there. I knew we should examine the home to determine if it was safe and what we might have to change was necessary but I was still unsure as to what I needed to look for. After doing a little research I was able to find a checklist about making your home safe for seniors and it helped me see if my parents new home would work for them.
There are three major areas which need to be focused on when considering home safety for the elderly. These three areas are interior safety, interior safety and emergency preparedness. When each of these areas has been thoroughly examined then you can feel more assured the senior’s home is safe for them.
Interior safety - Falling is the #1 concern. All fall risks need to be carefully assessed.
- Are there things the senior will need to maneuver around?
- Should the senior have a pendant alert system or cell phone in order to get help should a fall occur?
- Are there throw rugs which need to be removed and is all carpet safely tacked down?
- Is there furniture of any kind that will block walking pathways and potentially be a fall hazard.
- Is there a table with sharp edges or a glass topped table in the primary sitting area?
- Does the home have a bathroom on the first floor? If it doesn’t is there another room which can be converted into one?
- Is the hallway lighted at night?
- Does the home have grab bars in the bathroom to help enter and exit the shower or assist at the toilet?
- In order to shower will the senior need to step into the tub? Does the shower floor have non-slip grips?
- Are all everyday cooking utensils and tools within reach without using a step stool?
- Are there concerns about the senior operating the stove/oven on their own?
- Can the home be easily and safely entered and exited from? Are there any modifications such as ramps or railings which need to be installed in order to make this happen?
- Do all windows securely lock?
- Are there storm doors which are heavy-duty and securely fastened to the door frame? Do all of the exterior doors have deadbolts?
- Is the surrounding area safe for the senior to be able to go outside and feel safe living there?
- Are all important phone numbers listed in a highly visible spot?
- Is critical information in an easy to access spot? This includes but is not limited to: important health information, social security numbers, health insurance policy information and advance directives.
- Do all smoke detectors have working batteries? Are there flashlights near the bed and primary sitting areas should a power outage happen?
- If oxygen is used in the home is there a backup power source?
- Is there an emergency plan for evacuation? Does the fire department need to be notified there is a senior in the home with limited mobility?
Since 2004 The Caregiver Partnership has been helping people just like you. They offer a wide range of home health care products that can help to make seniors lives easier and safer. Their knowledgeable Product Specialists, all women, are all current or previous caregivers. They can help you with any questions you may have. You can speak with them when you call 1-800-985-1353.
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