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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.

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