A safe home is a happy home, especially as we get older. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to prevent accidents and improve home safety for seniors. In addition to tailored memory care, Poet’s Walk offers home assessment services as part of its Home Care Wellness program. In this program, we’ve comprised a checklist of home safety guidelines to ensure all potential hazards in a particular residence have been addressed.
Elderly Home Safety Checklist for Seniors and Caregivers
Keep your home or that of your elderly loved one safe by following these steps and home modifications:
In the Bathroom…
- Keep a good night light in the bathroom or leave the light on at night.
- If you lock the door, make sure it is one of those locks that can be opened from both sides.
- Make sure your hot and cold faucets are clearly marked.
- You could have a walk-in bathtub installed and/or, put in handrails or grab bars. Make sure you use bathmats that have a non-slip bottom.
In the Kitchen…
- Keep the floor clean and clear up any clutter.
- Any hazardous materials you keep in the kitchen should be stored separately from where your food is kept.
- Appliances such as toasters, kettles, etc. should have an automatic shut-off
- Secure knives and cutlery in enclosed spaces–whether a knife block or in a drawer.
- If you have more than one floor, make sure you have both a smoke detector and fire extinguisher on each floor. They should be checked regularly to ensure they are working properly.
- Make sure that your electrical cords are placed somewhere with little foot traffic.
- Tack down (or remove altogether) scatter rugs and make sure you have enough space to easily move from room to room, as well as in between furniture.
- Avoid using waxes that are slippery and clean up spills or messes right away.
- Stairs should have a non-slip surface. Install grab bars or handrails by the stairs, or invest in a stairlift.
- If you don’t have a medical alert card or bracelet, get one and keep it somewhere that is easy to find.
- Make sure your medications are properly and clearly labeled.
- Get a proper step stool if you might have to access things that are stored up high. There are also handy “reachers” available.
- Light all areas in the house with light bulbs that are at least 100 watt, as well as non-glare.
- Keep all closet doors and drawers closed when not in use.
Take Advantage of Poet’s Walk Home Assessments for Wellness
Since the layout and furnishings in every residence are different, it is important to identify all potential hazards in a particular home. Sometimes a hazard will not be obvious. The Poet’s Walk home assessment program sends a caregiver to carefully look at your home and point out any home modifications that should be done – to prevent falls in the home, for example. By getting your home assessed, and making sure it is safe for seniors, you are helping your elderly loved ones maintain their independence, their health, and their happiness.