Most people prefer to live independently for as long as possible. Many seniors still continue to thrive while living at home in their own environments, where they are the most comfortable. However, new concerns begin to arise for people who live alone, especially as they get older or if other health conditions are present. Most homes are not designed with safety in mind, so some modifications may be necessary. It’s important to take some simple precautions to help seniors remain as safe as possible in their homes.
Check Electrical Outlets
Electrical outlets are one of the greatest risks in any home, but especially for seniors. Older homes, in particular, may not be properly wired for the electrical loads of today’s devices. Check the outlets in the home to make sure there is an appropriate number of items plugged into the outlet or power bar. If too many electronics and devices are plugged into the same power bar, it raises the risk of overload and creates a potential fire hazard.
Do an Appliance Audit
Do an audit of the appliances in the home and pay special attention to ones being used inappropriately. Be sure to get rid of any that have loose or frayed wires. Some people may have modified the grounding feature by removing the pin on a three-prong plug or by using the wrong adapter. Make sure that small electric appliances, such as electric tea kettles or hair dryers, are not left plugged in when not in use.
Look at Lighting
Dim or burned-out lighting can create an unsafe environment. Make sure that light fixtures have properly-functioning bulbs with an appropriate wattage for the fixture. If you don’t know the optimal wattage, don’t use any bulbs with greater than 60 watts. Night lights should be installed around the house especially in bathrooms and hallways.
Create Clear Pathways
It is not uncommon for older people to have accumulated a lot of possessions over the years. It may have been a long time since they conducted a major purge of items. As a result, homes can become crowded, making it more difficult to walk through. Make sure there are clear pathways throughout the house. Every room and hallway should have a clear walking path that doesn’t require complicated maneuvering.
Make Sure Emergency Phone Numbers are Posted
It’s important to be sure that emergency phone numbers are posted in clearly visible places. Most seniors still use landline phones as their primary phones and cellular phones are less common. Make sure that a phone is located in the bedroom, close to the bed, in case of accidents or emergencies.
For questions or to learn more about Assisted Home Health & Hospice and the services we offer, call 800-949-6555 or visit us at www.AssistedCares.com.