Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for seniors. It’s important to take extra precautions to protect yourself from these kinds of injuries.
- Print off this home safety checklist.
- Medical alert or a robust buddy system are highly recommended.
- Keep a fire extinguisher on every floor and smoke detectors throughout the home.
- For smokers, don’t smoke in bed and don’t smoke during times of day when drowsiness is common.
- Take plenty of time for all transitions, never rush out of bed or out of a chair. Balance is the top priority.
- Get shoes that have low heels and fit comfortably.
- Make sure your walking aid is the correct height.
- Get rid of throw rugs or tack them down.
- Pay attention to the traffic areas in the home and make sure they are free of any plugs, cords, or wires.
- If the floors get waxed make sure it isn’t a slippery variety.
- If something spills wipe it up immediately, if bending over is challenging use a swiffer.
- Have someone else stand on a ladder or a chair if it is needed for a task.
- Stairs inside and outside the home need to have sturdy railings, non-slip surfaces, and good lighting with light switches at the bottoms and the top of the staircase.
- Consider purchasing a stairlift.
- Get non-glare light bulbs, the brighter the better for safety.
- Leaving a light on in the bathroom can be a helpful guide in the night.
- Securely install the best bath aids for shower/bath and toilet needs.
- Get some bathtub mats and bath rugs that are non-slip.
- Make sure the water heater is set to 120° F or below.
- Clearly mark the cold and hot faucets.
- Have door locks that open from both sides.
- Try to bathe only when someone could help if needed.
- Use bright colors to mark “on” and “off” switches on appliances.
- Keep all of the sharp knives in a block.
- Don’t let the floors get cluttered with things and try to keep them clean.
- Work areas should always be illuminated.
- Get a kettle that has an automatic shut-off.
- Put all heavy objects at waist level.
- Designate a specific spot for all hazardous items so they are separate from food.
- Wear tight fitting clothes when cooking over the stove, and no scarves.
- Check the expiration dates on foods and if it is unclear that some leftovers should go don’t take a chance.
- Clearly label all medications, or even nicknames if that helps.
- Make it a habit of reviewing medicines with the doctor/pharmacist, and especially with any new medications.
- Never read a medicine label in dim light.
- Get rid of any old and expired medicines.
- Don’t borrow medicine from people.
- Ask the doctor about alcohol/non-prescription drug use mixed with doctor approved medication, never assume it is ok.
- Get a medication organizer for easier use.
Reprinted from – Elderville