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NJ Elder Safety
For seniors, the bedroom can become a place for accidents.Â Here are some things to consider:
- Lamps and light switches should be within reach of the bed. Lamps or switches located close to each bed will enable people getting up at night to see where they are going.
- Night lights should be used. This is especially important if your elderly loved one makes frequent trips to the bathroom at night.
- Ash trays, smoking materials, or other heat sources (heaters, hot plates, teapots, etc.) should be kept away from beds and bedding. Burns are a leading cause of accidental death among seniors. Smoking in bed is a major contributor to this problem. Among mattress and bedding fire-related deaths in a recent year, 42% were to persons 65 or older.Â Remove sources of heat or flame from areas around beds.Â Don’t smoke in bed.
- Check for proper use of electric blanket. Tucking in electric blankets, or placing additional coverings on top of them can cause excessive heat buildup which can start a fire. Use electric blankets according to the manufacturer’s instructions.Â Don’t allow anything on top of the blanket while it is in use. This includes other blankets or comforters, even pets sleeping on top of the blanket.Â Don’t set electric blankets so high that they could burn someone who falls asleep while they are on.
- A working flashlight should be kept close to the bed in case electrical power goes out.Â Check the flashlight regularly to see if the batteries are still good.
- The telephone should be close to your elderly loved one’s bed. In case of an emergency, it is important to be able to reach the telephone without getting out of bed.
- Never go to sleep with a heating pad if it is turned on because it can cause serious burns even at relatively low settings.
With a little planning, you can prevent accidents that should never happen.
Posted by: Frank Esposito, Vice President of Expert Home Care.Â New Jerseyâ€™s Expert Home Care provides professional and reliable home health care and companion care for NJ seniors, helping them with their daily living activities since 1984. Please call us toll free at 800-848-2336 when you have elder care related questions or need assistance for a loved one.