Dakota Travel Nurse Home Care

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25 Safety Hazards that Could Be in a Senior’s Home

Warnschild, Rot, Achtung, RentnerThe homes we live in when we are in our 60s and 70s may no longer be safe when we are 80 or 90. Stairs, winding hallways, slippery tile, a TV or furniture such as tall shelving units that are not anchored, poorly lit rooms or bathrooms without grab bars are just a few areas that can be potentially dangerous and may make home an unsafe place for an elderly loved one who wants to remain there. And don’t forget dangers that may be lurking outside, such as yards with uneven ground or long grass, stairs without handrails or chemicals and tools in the garage that could be misused.

CaregiverStress.com reports that 85% of seniors have done nothing to prepare their home for aging! They recommend that adult children or other caregivers take one day each year to perform a safety check of their aging parents’ homes. Their website includes a very inclusive checklist.

In Jan. of 2014, we published a blog on preventing falls. That might be the first thought that comes to our minds when we think about increasing home safety, but there can be other hazards that could be eliminated in order to help seniors “age in place” in their own homes. Look for these hazards in your home or the home of your senior loved one:

Kitchen Hazards

  • Cabinets that are too high or low
  • Spoiled or expired food in the refrigerator
  • Unsecured chemicals and cleaning materials that could be dangerous
  • Sharp utensils or dishes that are easily broken or chipped
  • Fire or burn risks: cooking/carrying hot food, matches, gas appliances, hot stove tops

Living Room Hazards

  • Not enough space to move easily around furniture
  • Unstable furniture, like a rocking chair
  • Difficult to reach light switches
  • Uneven floor surfaces such as torn carpet
  • Furniture that is difficult to stand up from after sitting

Bathroom Hazards

  • Slippery tub or shower with no bath mats or grab bars
  • Bathtub or shower that is difficult to get into
  • Toilet that is too low with no bars to hold onto
  • Water that comes out too hot
  • Storage areas that are too high or too low to be easily reached

Bedroom Hazards

  • Furniture that is close together and challenging to walk around
  • Lack of access to a telephone or cell phone, especially at night
  • An unlit or difficult route to the bathroom
  • Bed that is too high or too low to easily get into or out of

Hazards in Any Room

  • A slippery floor
  • Obstructed pathways or work areas
  • Throw rugs
  • Inadequate light
  • Clutter, especially on the floor
  • A small pet that gets underfoot

Reducing or Eliminating Hazards

Some hazards, like throw rugs, can be eliminated easily. Others may require some remodeling or a change of furniture. Take a walk through your home or the home of the person you’re caring for and start now to make it a safer place for aging residents or elderly family members who visit.

 

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