The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares some startling statistics about seniors and falls. They say that one out of every four people who are aged 65 or older falls every year. Serious injuries occur in one out of every five of those falls. On top of the risk of falls, there are all sorts of other home hazards that jeopardize the safety of seniors living at home. Performing a safety walk-through at your parent’s home will help you to identify any problems that need to be addressed. Below is a checklist to help you get started on improving the safety of your senior parent’s home.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in a place that is easy for your parent to reach. Make sure they know how to use it.
- Move frequently used items off of high shelves that require a step-stool to reach. If your parent will be using a step-stool, make sure it is sturdy and has a handrail.
- Clear clutter away from the stovetop, especially any items that may catch fire, such as pot holders or towels.
- Move all electrical appliances away from the sink.
- Place a non-slip mat or strips on the floor of the bathtub or shower.
- Install grab bars near the toilet and bath.
- Make sure there is adequate lighting, and a night light for late-night trips to the bathroom.
- Install a shower seat or bench.
- Make sure there is a lamp or light switch within reach of the bed. If this isn’t possible, keep a flashlight near the bed.
- Place a phone close to the bed.
- Keep candles and space heaters away from curtains and bedding.
- Make sure the path from the bedroom to the bathroom is well lit.
General Home Safety.
- Make sure smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. Check and replace batteries regularly.
- Make sure all steps in a staircase are even. Fix steps that are broken.
- Install handrails on both sides of staircases.
- Remove clutter from walkways.
- Make sure cords are placed along walls and out of walkways.
- Provide adequate lighting in staircases and hallways.
- Replace worn and torn carpet.
- Remove throw rugs or use double-sided tape to adhere them to the floor.
- Post emergency numbers near the phone.
If you’re concerned about your parent’s safety, hiring an elder care provider can ease your mind. An elder care provider who visits the house can watch for safety hazards, and correct them or let you know about them. An elder care provider can also help your parent with tasks around the house that may be unsafe for them because of mobility or cognitive issues.
The staff at Home Care Matters is available to talk with you and your family about all of your needs. Home Care Matters is a home care agency providing quality and affordable elder care in Cumming, GA and the surrounding areas. Call (678) 828-2195 for more information.