Staying in the comfort of one’s own home is a good thing as it allows older adults to be closer to family and forces them to be more active as they are responsible for household chores and duties. However, it is essential that their home environment is made as safe as possible.
Falls, burns, and even poisoning are amongst the most common accidents faced by seniors who live independently. Such incidents can be life-threatening. As such, the right precautions and safeguards are required to minimize the risk that they do not occur when no one is around.
Where to begin? Well, luckily you have landed at the right place. In this short guide, we will take a look at how you can improve senior safety at home, using our easy and totally doable tips!
5 Tips To Improve Senior Safety At Home
Want to keep senior loved ones safe and away from any possible harm or injury? Well, that isn’t easy, especially, when you can’t be around them 24/7. These 5 tips will help minimize the risks and help to ensure that they are as safe as they can be at home.
- Post A List Of Emergency Numbers Near The Phone
This is an absolute must! Having a list of emergency numbers in big bold writing can make it very easy for seniors to call who they need to call in the case of an emergency.
Emergency numbers for the police, fire rescue, poison control, family members, friends, health care providers, and more should all be listed right next to the phone making it easy for your loved one to dial for help in case of an emergency.
To further ensure seniors can call for help whenever they find themselves in a small predicament, they can use a personal alert button. This device is especially helpful if one is unable to get to the phone or manage dialing numbers.
- Use An Automatic Fall Detection Device
The fear of falling and not being able to get back up is very real. Seniors that have issues maintaining balance or walking, or have fallen in the past year, should take immediate precautions and care. The first thing they would likely need is an automatic fall detection device.
This lightweight and discrete device sends out an emergency distress signal as soon as a fall is detected, even if your loved one is unable to press the panic button. The added layer of safety ensures greater peace of mind and is a must-have for seniors living on their own.
- Safety Proof The Home By Clearing Out Hazards & Objects
Good lighting is extremely important. Having well-lit pathways, hallways, and stairs that are clear of any type of objects or other odds and ends is essential in helping to prevent falls.
Ideally, throw and area rugs should be removed to prevent tripping hazards, however, if that’s not possible, rugs in the house should be taped or glued to the floor so they don’t move when you step on them.
Install grab bars in the shower to make getting in and out of the tub a much easier task for seniors.
Foolproofing the house shouldn’t take up more than an hour at best and can make a home a lot safer for everyone, not just seniors!
- Stove Safety & Fire Prevention
Most home fires start in the kitchen as a result of the stove being left on. This is where a stove sensor can come in real handy.
In case, your loved one leaves the oven or stove on and forgets about it, a stove sensor will automatically shut off the stove, preventing a fire before it can even start. These sensors can be installed by anyone and don’t require the need for an electrician.
Having this handy device installed in a senior’s home can protect them against the number one cause of all home fires!
There are plenty of other precautions you can take as well to protect against fire and ensure better stove safety. These include:
- Never cook while wearing loose, billowy clothing
- Replace damaged appliances and any frayed electrical cords
- Make sure carbon monoxide and smoke detectors have their batteries replaced yearly
- Never leave a burning candle or stove unattended
- Refrain from smoking indoors, especially, in bed
- Make sure heaters are at least 3 ft away from any flammable items (such as curtains)
- Poisoning & Medicinal Safety
To protect against poisoning make sure that your senior’s home has carbon monoxide detectors. Make it a point to replace the batteries of each one of these detectors every year to ensure that this deadly gas doesn't build up unnoticed.
Taking the wrong medications or taking them in non-prescribed doses can be extremely detrimental to a senior’s health and well-being. In order to assist them in taking their required medications at the right time and in the right amount, consider buying or renting them an automatic medication dispenser.
This convenient device can hold 28 doses of medication that are dispensed out at the times prescribed by their health care professional. The unit locks for further safety and to prevent accidental double dosing.
We live in a world where technology has helped improve the lives of all of us, young and old. Using technology combined with common sense and forward thinking we can now support seniors to remain in their own homes safely and securely for much longer than before. Using our useful tips and safety devices, you too can keep your loved ones safe and happy in their own homes, for many years to come! To learn more visit Northwood Intouch.