Safety is always the number-one priority when anyone is living on their own, especially senior citizens. In fact seniors are more likely to suffer injuries in the home more than anyone else. According to studies conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information:
- 72% of home accidents involved the bathroom or toilet
- 18% of home accidents involved the living/family room
- 14% of home accidents involved the kitchen
- 11% of home accidents involved the bedroom
- 10% of home accidents involved the dining room
Additionally, approximately 80% of home accidents involved falls, while other accidents involved injuries by sharp objects, burns, shocks, etc.
However, there are plenty of precautions that can be taken to ensure home safety for your elderly loved one. Make note of these useful tips, which you can also add to a home safety checklist.
General Home Safety
- Ensure that smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are installed in every room and on every floor of the home. Make certain that all of them are in working order.
- Consider investing in a medic alert-type device for your loved one. They will be able to immediately call for help with the single push of a button.
- If the home contains any stairs, make sure that the railings are sturdy and will not break. It’s also important that all stairways contain sufficient lighting with switches at the top and bottom of each staircase. In addition, all steps should be covered in a non-slip surface.
- Ensure that all electrical cords, telephone cords, loose rugs, etc. are moved out of any normal or potential traffic areas.
- Always leave the bathroom light on at night for safety, especially if you need to go during the night.
- Install door locks that can be easily used on both sides of the door.
- Install safety rails next to the toilet and in the shower/bathtub to allow for ease in getting up and down.
- Place a non-slip mat in the bathtub in order to prevent slips and falls.
- Make sure all floors are clean and uncluttered.
- Ensure that all appliances are marked with clear “on” and “off” switches.
- Store sharp utensils either on a rack or in a separate drawer.
- Illuminate all work areas.