Checklist for Elderly Home Safety
Due to impaired cognitive and physical abilities, seniors are more prone to accidents in the home. The U.S. consumer Products Safety Commission reports that over 600,000 older Americans are treated each year in hospital emergency rooms for home injuries. Many, if not most of these injuries could be prevented with proper measures to ensure home safety.
Remember, it is important to think about your loved ones’ individual physical and mental health situation in order to adequately protect him or her from accidents. While some seniors tend to get forgetful or disoriented, others may lose their balance or have a tendency to fall.
Here is a checklist of some basic measures you should take to increase the safety of the home environment for your elderly loved one:
- Electrical and telephone chords are secure and placed away from traffic areas.
- Rugs, mats and runners are secured and have nonskid backing.
- Space heaters are located away from curtains, clothing and fabric.
- Adequate lighting and night lights are installed especially in stairways and hallways.
- Emergency numbers and the street address are posted by each telephone.
- Set the thermostat of the water heater at 120 degrees F or lower to prevent accidental burns.
- Check the smoke alarm on a regular basis to make sure the batteries are working.
- Make sure handrails are sturdy and fastened securely to the wall.
- Make sure all medications are properly labelled large enough to read.
- Have a sturdy step ladder or stool available to access things out of reach.
- Bathrooms are equipped with nonskid mats and grab bars.
- Check that shelves are secure and not overburdened by heavy objects.
Don’t wait until it is too late to protect your loved one against serious injury that can be prevented in the home.