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Home Safe Home: Conducting a Thorough Home Safety Assessment

By Michelle Cemental

Many senior injuries result from hazards overlooked but are easy to fix. Since safety is one of our major concerns here at Caring Senior Service each one of our clients receive an intensive, 43-step Home Safety Survey that includes a review of each room of the home to make sure any potential risks and/or issues are addressed providing them with assurance and a peace of mind in a safe environment.

We have compiled a small list of some of the most important tips sorted by room which are found below. Please take a moment and check to see if you or a loved one's home needs some extra attention this month.

 Common Areas

  • Check all electrical, phone cords and computer cords; rugs, runners and mats to make sure they are out from underneath furniture, carpets and rugs and are not stretched across walkways.

  •  Check the working condition of smoke detectors, electrical outlets, switches and bulbs.

  • Have bright lights over stairs, on steps if possible and on landings. Keep stairs clear of clutter and make sure handrails are installed and are in good working order. Installing light switches both at the top and the bottom of the stairs is a great idea, remember to hire a professional for any advanced changes.

  • Check your hot water heater to be sure the temperature does not exceed 120˚F to prevent burns.

  • Make sure the street number on your house is large, well-lighted and unobstructed so emergency personnel can find your home quickly.

  • Ensure that all doors and window locks are working.

  • Be sure the fuse box is in appropriate order with the right fuses and that it is not obstructed.

Kitchen

  • Storing non-cooking equipment like potholders, dishtowels, or plastic utensils on or near the range could result in fires or burns. Store flammable and combustible items away from range and oven. Remove any towels hanging on oven handles.

  • Make sure that the kitchen ventilation system and range exhaust is functioning properly and are they in use while you are cooking.

  • Make sure there are no extension cords or appliance cords located near the sink or range areas.

  • Make sure there is a working fire extinguisher that has been inspected.

Living Room/Family Room

  • Check all rugs and runners, electrical and telephone cords, lighting, the fireplace and chimney, the telephone area, and all passageways.

  • Keep any chimney clean and clear from accumulations of leaves and other debris that can clog them.

  • Check lighting in hallways. Be sure that all passageways between rooms and other heavy traffic areas are well lit.

Bathroom

  • Check bathtub and shower areas, water temperature, rugs and mats, lighting, small electrical appliances, and storage areas for medications.

  • Wet soapy tile or porcelain surfaces are especially slippery and may contribute to falls. Apply textured strips or appliques on the floors of tubs and showers. Use non-skid mats in the tub and shower, and on the bathroom floor.

  • Install grab bars in the tub and shower.  Grab bars can help you get into and out of your tub or shower, and can help prevent falls. Check existing bars for strength and stability, and repair if necessary.

  • Be sure the pathway to the bathroom is well lit.

Bedroom

  • Check all rugs and runners, electrical and telephone cords, and areas around beds.

  • Be sure that there is easy access to a lamp or light switch from the bed to ensure that your loved one can see where they are going when they get up at night

  • Use caution when using a heating blanket or a heating pad. Never sleep with a heating pad on and do not tuck your electric blanket in.

  • Be sure you have a telephone close to your bed. In case of an emergency, it is important to be able to reach the telephone without getting out of bed.

Our goal is to provide GreatCare® keeping seniors Healthy, Happy and Home. For more information or to get some Vendor Recommendations reach out to your local Caring Senior Service office today. New Call-to-action

Michelle Cemental Blog Author

Tags: Senior Safety, Fall Prevention

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