Have you ever had a scare from your loved ones after finding out that they had just tripped at home? While injuries might not be serious for the majority of us, this might not hold true for loved ones that may have weaker bones, potentially causing arms, wrists, or even hip fractures. As such, it is advisable to optimize your home to minimize the number of potential safety hazards in the home, particularly for those that stay alone and don’t have access to immediate help.
Removing Fall Hazards
Being the leading cause of injury in the elderly, it comes as no surprise that fall hazards should be removed whenever possible to make the home fall safe. You can start by identifying the fall hazards present in your homes such as decorative rugs that don’t grip well to the floor or any piled clutter such as old newspapers, shoes, toys, or clothes. In addition, you can also reorganize the extension cords in your home so that none of them are lying across the floor and being a fall hazard. If your loved one wears footwear when home, consider getting them non-slip footwear instead to minimize the risks of falls.
Keeping Emergency Numbers in Reach
Despite taking all the measures you can to reduce the possibility of the elderly injuring themselves at home, there is no foolproof guarantee that accidents will not happen. As such, it would be wise to keep emergency numbers in reach and handy, so they know who and what number to dial in the event of emergencies, allowing for timely intervention. Numbers that you may want to note include emergency contacts, 911, as well as your loved one’s healthcare provider or caregiver, and a 24/7 professional healthcare team, if any. However, you should also note that cell phones might not always be in reach in the event of an accident. In such cases, it would be best to have an emergency response system in place.
Keeping Floors Dry
This is especially applicable in spaces that are more likely to be wet such as bathroom and kitchen floors. Bathrooms and kitchens are known to be the riskiest place for the elderly, being the place most likely for falls and scalds to occur. Things you can do to enhance the safety of these areas include:
- Installing grab bars beside the toilet and in the shower area.
- Laying rubber mats inside bathtubs to facilitate better grip.
- Setting the thermostat on water heaters at reasonable temperatures to eliminate the risk of accidental burns.
- Installing nightlights in the bathroom. Some elderly that take repeated trips to the bathroom during nighttime might not turn on the lights on route to the bathroom.
Ensuring a Proper Fire Protection System
Apart from smalls and accidents, home safety also includes ensuring that the home is well protected against the risk of fire. Some of the measures you may take include:
- Removing candles from the house.
- Ensuring all electric appliances are in good condition and do not have any exposed or damaged cords. You should also limit the number of cords being plugged into a single power point.
Regularly replace batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.