Looking for Hazards Within the Home

If you know of an elderly loved one who lives by him or herself, you want to make sure that he or she is as safe as possible. To do that, there are some things you should know when it comes to staying safe within the home. Let’s look at some now:

General Home Safety

  • Think about using a medical alert or buddy system.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher and smoke detector on every floor of the home.
  • Never smoke when alone or in bed.
  • Always get up slowly after lying down or after sitting. Take your time and find your balance first.
  • Wear shoes that fit well, with low heels
  • Use a correctly measured walking aid.
  • Remove any and all scatter rugs, or if not, be sure to tack them down to prevent falls.
  • Remove any electrical or telephone cords from high-traffic areas.
  • Avoid using wax on floors to keep from slipping and falling.
  • Wipe up any spills as soon as possible.
  • Avoid standing on ladders or chairs.
  • Have proper, sturdy rails on stairs, both inside and outside the house, or buy a stairlift if needed.
  • Use non-glare 100 watt or greater incandescent bulbs only (or the fluorescent equivalent.)
  • Make sure that all staircases have good lighting with switches at both the top and bottom.
  • See that staircase steps have non-slip surfaces.

Bathroom Safety

  • Leave a light on in the bathroom at night.
  • Use recommended bath aides, and see they’re securely installed on the walls of the bath or shower stall and on the sides of the toilet too.
  • Skid-proof the tub and see that the bath mat also has a non-slip bottom.
  • Turn the water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to avoid scalding.
  • Mark the hot and cold faucets clearly.
  • Use door locks that can be operated on both sides.
  • If possible, bathe only when help is available to you.

Kitchen Safety

  • Keep floors clean and free of clutter.
  • Make sure any and all work areas are well-illuminated.
  • Mark both “on” and “off” positions for appliances clearly and brightly
  • Store any sharp knives in a rack.
  • Use a kettle that has an automatic shut-off.
  • Store any heavier objects at waist level.
  • Store all hazardous items away from food.
  • Avoid wearing any long or loose clothing when cooking at the stove
  • Make sure that food is regularly rotated and check their expiration dates.

Drug Safety

  • Review all medicines frequently with your doctor or pharmacist especially when you take any new medications.
  • Make sure all medication is labeled clearly.
  • Read the medicine labels in good light in order to make sure you have the right medicine and always take the correct dosage.
  • Get rid of any old or used medicines.
  • Never borrow prescription drugs from others.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist before mixing drugs and alcohol.
  • Have your medications dispensed in a bubble wrap or convenient dispenser.
  • Finally, check with your doctor or pharmacist before mixing non-prescription drugs and prescription drugs.