July 5, 2017

Senior Home Safety Checklist

The decision to move your aging parent into an assisted living facility or leave them at home is a tough one. The health and capabilities of your parent play a huge role in this decision. If your parent is healthy enough to live unassisted you should be sure their house has the optimal safety conditions for them. We have listed out some of the things to consider for senior safety at home.

  • Lighting
    Be sure that all rooms are well lit so that your parent can easily navigate through the dark. As we age our night vision gets weaker so ample lighting throughout all of the house is a must. Use of nightlights throughout hallways and commonly used rooms will help.
  • Smoke Detectors
    Smoke detectors should be in working order and yearly battery changes should be performed. A carbon monoxide detector should also be in use.
  • Handrails
    Anywhere there are steps, sturdy railings should be in place. Handrails should be properly mounted on both sides of the stairwell as seniors often struggle with maintaining their balance. If it is necessary, a stair lift may also be installed.
  • Shower Safety
    Showers should have rails so your parents can keep their balance while bathing and give them something to hold while entering and exiting the bathtub. The use of a bathmat in the tub will help prevent slips and falls.
  • Flooring
    How are their floors holding up? Are wood floor boards loose? Are the carpets ripped or teared? Floors should be maintained to have an even and clean surface to avoid trips and stumbles. Cords and other items should also be moved out of walking paths. Throw rugs are known to move around and can be a potential fall hazard, so secure any with double sided tape.
  • Daily Items
    Where are the items which are needed daily located? Where is their medicine kept? Anything which is too high up for them to reach without assistance is a potential hazard. Put items which are used frequently in places which are easy to reach and do not require additional equipment to access.
  • Fire Extinguishers
    Hopefully a fire extinguisher is never needed, but in case of an accident there should be at least one in the house. Small fires are easily started and your parent should be prepared to extinguish one. Make sure your parent is knowledgeable on how to use a fire extinguisher.
  • Phone / Emergency Alert
    Phones are a necessity if someone is living alone, so when an accident arises they can call for help. Having a cell phone would also benefit your parents, if kept on them they will have ready access to a phone. If there is no phone available, an emergency alert system is a must! These systems are a life saver if no one is available and they cannot access a phone.

If your relative has the strength and ability to care for themselves daily, living alone is an option. Take into account the above steps to be prepared or avoid any potential accident.

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