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Home Safety for Seniors: 19 Tips

Home safety tips for seniors

Most accidents occur in the home.  What can you do to protect an elderly loved one from getting hurt?  Here are some steps to follow:

· Keep outdoor steps and walkways in good condition and clear of debris.

· Illuminate all stairways and hallways and provide light switches at both ends.

· Use nightlights or bedside remote controlled switches.

· Provide handrails in hallways and stairways.

· Keep a sturdy nightstand next to the bed so glasses and other personal items are within reach.

· Put felt or soft material over sharp edges and corners of furniture such as nightstands, tables and shelves.

· Tack down the edges of carpets and rugs; remove throw rugs that slide.

· Keep pathways clear of furniture and other objects.

· Provide handrails in the bathroom (especially near the toilet) and use non-skid strips in bathtubs.

· Use a shower seat and shower hose for those unable to stand in the shower.

· Avoid using bath oils or lotions in the bathtub.

· Use kitchen appliances with thermostats and timers. The elderly find appliances with signal lights and buzzers easier to use.

· Use fireproof curtains on windows near the stove.

· Clearly mark the “off” position on stoves and ranges so a person with diminished eyesight can immediately tell if the element is off.

· Set water heater thermostats or faucets so water does not scald the skin.

· Install smoke detectors in the kitchen and throughout the rest of the house.

· Keep a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it.

· Arrange frequently used kitchen items in an easy-to-reach cabinet.

· Install one good lock that can be opened easily from the inside.

Posted by: Frank Esposito, VP Expert Home Care.  New Jersey’s Expert Home Care provides professional, dependable home health care and companion care for NJ elderly, helping them with their daily living activities since 1984. Please call us toll free at 800-848-2336 when you have home care related questions or need assistance for a loved one. Get a Free Home Care Assessment (a $375 value!) when you mention this post.

Elderly ‘Home Accident’ Prevention Tips

NJ Elder Safety

Making the necessary changes in your home or elderly loved one’s home

Is your senior citizen moving in with you or are they finding it hard to get around their own house? Here are some tips to help reduce the likelihood of accidents and give you some piece of mind:

Outside the house:

  • Add a ramp to replace steps. Maximum slope should be 1 inch for every 20 inches of length with a bolt in place for stability.
  • Add rails on both sides of steps.
  • Add non-slip, contrasting color strips on exterior stairs to help your senior with reduced vision to easily identify steps.
  • Add lighting along walkways and pathways, plus motion detectors.

Inside the house:

  • Replace door knobs with flip handles.
  • Replace swinging doors with pocket doors.
  • Visual-signaling smoke detectors have a light that flashes when smoke is detected to alert a person who is hard of hearing.
  • Increase the size of door openings.
  • Fasten rugs and mats to floors to reduce tripping with double-sided tape.
  • Add handles on both sides of stairwells.
  • Consider installing a chair lift on stairway.

In the bathroom:

  • Though it can be expensive, consider installing a roll-in shower or low-rise step-in tub.
  • Add handles and grab-bars in tub and toilets. Add hand-held shower heads.
  • If your senior is in a wheelchair, install roll-up cabinets.
  • Make sure faucets have anti-scald temperature controls.

In the kitchen:

  • Again, if your senior is in a wheelchair, install roll-up cabinets.
  • Install pull-out shelves for low or deep shelves.
  • Lower the light switches.
  • A side-by-side refrigerator/freezer will allow for easier access.
  • Install a wall-mounted oven for easier access.

General tips:

  • Be sure furniture is stable, and has no sharp corners.
  • Remove scatter rugs and clutter.

Posted by: Frank Esposito, Vice President of Expert Home Care.  New Jersey’s Expert Home Care provides professional and reliable home health care and companion care for NJ elderly, helping them with their daily living activities since 1984. Please call us toll free at 800-848-2336 when you have home care related questions or need assistance for a loved one. Get a Free Home Care Assessment (a $375 value!) when you mention this post.