Home Safety Tips from The Complete Eldercare Planner by Joy Loverde
The majority of accidents happen at home; but did you know that more accidents happen in the living room than anywhere else? Given the probability that our “home sweet home” can be anything but, The Complete Eldercare Planner suggests tried and true strategies that help make home a safer place to be.
Let’s start with you – the homeowner. The cause of accidents is not always environmental. Underlying medical conditions contribute equally to home hazards. Review the following checklist to see if you are healthy enough to manage a household on your own
- Instability associated with impaired general health
- Compromised strength, balance, and gait
- Decline in vision and hearing
- Chronic disease
- Mental health problems
- Deficiencies in the diet
- Prescription medicines
Stairway to Heaven
According to home-safety experts, fifty-five per cent of accidental injuries in the home involve falls, with the largest proportion of accidents being falls from stairs or steps. FYI… a whopping 60% of deaths result from accidents on stairs! Here are a few facts to consider:
- Most stairway falls that cause injuries occur while people are walking down the stairs.
- Absence of handrails account for a large percentage of falls on stairs.
- Neglecting to use handrails that are installed to reduce the potential for miss-stepping and providing the means to retrieve balance contribute to injuries.
- Unexpected location of stairs leads to many falls. For example, stairs of just one or two steps in a hallway or doorway are especially hazardous.
Given the severe consequences, do your stairs measure up to safety standards?
- Steps are moisture-free and clutter-free
- Steps are level and in good repair
- Landings, stairs, and hallways are well lit with two-way light switches
- Handrails are installed, sturdy, and used regularly
Bed, Bath, and Beyond
Getting up in the middle of the night and taking a tumble is unfortunately all too common. From getting tangled up in draping bedding to medications that cause dizziness and disorientation here are a few strategies that help to avert bedroom and bathroom mishaps:
- If it’s a bathroom problem, talk to the physician to figure out the best way to manage hydration and work on a toileting schedule to avoid needing to go at night.
- Resist the temptation to purchase silk-like sheets, blankets, and pajamas.
- Before getting into bed for the night, securely tuck sheets and blankets into place.
- Turn on the nightstand light before getting out of bed.
- Remove area rugs and mats as well as damaged and worn carpeting in the bedroom, hallway, and bathroom.
Who you gonna call?
It goes without saying that dialing 911 is your first course of action when a serious accident occurs. Additionally, be sure you know the telephone numbers of the following:
- electric company
- water company
- gas company
Author Joy Loverde encourages you to visit her website at www.elderindustry.com for more information and to obtain free downloads and checklists from her best-seller, The Complete Eldercare Planner.
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