65 and above? Home safety tips for the seniors

65 and above? Home safety tips for the seniors

Safety at home is of importance especially to the older people. With increasing number of aged people living on their own, it is only wise and reasonable to take caution and see to their safety at home. This is because injuries to the seniors are usually more severe than that of the younger because of the thin skin and fragile bones. Also, because of the decline in the mental, physical and cognitive capabilities. In a study conducted by the National Institute of Aging, 22% of the seniors in America aged 71 and above (about 5.4 million) are experiencing decline in their mental function.

The health issues may not prevent them from carrying on with their daily activities but it could bring about certain degree of difficulty in either completing those activities or making complicated decisions. Hence, safety both in and out of the home should be a top priority for the elderly ones. Here are some safety tips to make ageing easier, safer and enjoyable at home:

Safety to prevent falls

  • Have your eyes checked regularly.
  • Have adequate lighting on the stairs and all the rooms.
  • Always turn lights on when you are about to enter a room especially when dark and make sure lamps and light switches can be easily accessed.
  • Do not place slip mats on the bathtub or shower floor
  • Do away with objects or structures in the house that can cause tripping.
  • See your doctor regularly to review your medications.
  • Do not use oil or lotions while in the bathtub, they could cause one to slip.
  • You can use a bath-chair so you don’t have to stand in the shower.
  • As precaution, install grab bars on the walls of the bathroom and toilet.
  • Clean yourself dry before you leave the bathtub. A wet hand and a wet floor increases the risk of slipping.
  • A handheld shower hose could make bathing easier.

Fire and kitchen safety

  • Ensure that you install smoke detectors in and around the house.
  • When cooking do not put on loose clothing as it may easily catch fire.
  • Do not leave a food you are cooking unattended to for a long while.
  • Avoid making use of electrical appliances with spoilt or frayed cords. This may lead to electricity induced fire outbreak.
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen.

General home safety

  • Install a medical alert or buddy system.
  • Do not wear shoes that do not fit or that gave tendency to cause slip.
  • You can use a walking aid around the house.
  • As much as you can, avoid climbing or standing on ladders and chairs.
  • If there is a spill, wipe it off immediately and avoid using slippery wax on the floor.
  • Maintain clean and uncluttered floors.
  • Make sure your medications are properly labelled to avoid a mix up.
  • Do not borrow prescription drugs from others. Avoid self medication, see your doctor for yours.
  • Always keep emergency numbers handy.
  • Keep your windows and doors locked always and do not let strangers in when you are home alone.
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