Potential Safety Hazards for Seniors Living Alone at Home | Executive Care of Clearwater
More and more seniors are choosing to remain in the comfort of home as they age, but to do so, a few precautions are needed.
Help your loved one stay safe and secure at home by looking for and mitigating potential safety hazards.
Finding Safety Hazards
Areas of the home that will require your attention while searching for safety hazards include the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. These areas can contain the highest risk for falls and fires, which are two very serious safety hazards for seniors.
Falling poses one of the greatest safety risks for seniors. In fact, one in four adults over age 65 suffer from falls each year. Below is a list of ways to help eliminate the risk of falls for your aging loved one:
- Get rid of throw rugs
- Make sure laundry facilities are on the first floor
- Remove wheels on chairs
- Keep steps clear of clutter
- Apply non-slip wax to floors
- Add a hall railing
- Add a raised toilet and grab bars
- Use rubber-backed bath mats
- Repair loose carpeting or raised areas of flooring
Electrical cords can pose a hazard when there are too many plugged into one socket or extension cord, or if any electrical cords are damaged. Take the time to evaluate the appliances and other electrical items in the home. Are they in good working condition?
It is important to go over different ways your loved one will be able to exit the home in case of a fire, making sure there are at least two ways to get out. Make sure the batteries in the smoke detector are being changed and tested regularly as well.
In the bathroom, it is wise to adjust the thermostat on the water heater so it stays at or under 120 degrees. There are also anti-scalding devices that can be installed in sinks, tubs and showers that will recognize when the water is too hot and stop the flow.
Simple Safety Tips
Being prepared for many possible scenarios can help bolster your loved one’s safety.
It is important that there are emergency numbers readily available and visible by each phone or entered into the contact list on a cell phone. Those numbers should include:
- Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222
- Family members or friends to call in case of emergency
- Healthcare provider’s office
Be sure his or her home address is clearly visible from the street for emergency purposes. You can install larger house numbers in metal or stickers to make them more visible and could also spray paint the house numbers on the street curb.
There can be many safety concerns for seniors living alone at home, but fortunately, we’re here to help address some of those concerns. Executive Care of Clearwater provides a full range of in-home care services that can make life easier and safer for your aging loved one.