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15 Home Safety Practices for Aging Adults and Caretakers

Posted by Johnson Memorial Health on Oct 1, 2015 10:00:00 AM

As we age, we need to take some extra precautions to ensure safety. Sometimes that means enlisting the help of others. Take a look at the following excerpt from a news release from the Home Safety Council.

older-womans-hands

"Each year more than 7,000 older adults die from incidents at home
including falls, fires/burns and poisonings, which are almost entirely
avoidable with proper education and some simple home modifications," said
Dr. Angela Mickalide, Director of Education and Outreach of the Home Safety
Council. "As our population ages, more and more adults will need
assistance. It is critical that caregivers have meaningful discussions with
those that they care for and help fix potential home dangers to keep loved
ones safe in and around their homes."

Prevention is the best medicine, they say. Follow these tips to avoid accidents and injuries.

Home Safety

Most injuries occur in the home, so making the home as safe as possible will prevent some of these injuries. Use the following tips to make your home as safe as it can be.

  1. Keep emergency phone numbers by the telephone or put them on speed dial.

  2. Keep medications in properly marked containers. Carefully read the labels to confirm the dosage.

  3. Set your water heater lower (below 120 degrees) to prevent scalding.

  4. Keep household chemicals and cleaners in a safe place and use with caution.

  5. Make sure fire alarms are installed and working properly. Replace batteries every year.

  6. Familiarize yourself with the surroundings around your community.

  7. Don’t store a lot of money at home. Go shopping with a friend or family member, and keep your money close to you.

  8. Don’t give your personal information to strangers who contact you.

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Preventing Falls

Slips and falls are a common cause of injuring in aging people. According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fall-related medical expenses cost Americans more than $30 billion each year. Follow these safety tips to help prevent some of these falls.

  1. Avoid the dark. Light up dark rooms and stairs and use night lights throughout your house.

  2. Place non-skid strips or a mat in your bath or shower. Install a grab bar for added steadiness.

  3. Secure objects in your home. Keep phone or electrical cords away from areas where you walk. Keep rooms neat and floors uncluttered.

  4. Store heavy and frequently used items at waist level.

  5. Wear shoes with non-skid soles that have good support. Stay away from shoes with deep treads.

  6. Have you vision checked regularly.

  7. Consult your doctor about the medicines you are currently taking. Some may have side effects that make you susceptible to falls.

Your twilight years can be some of the best years of your life. By taking steps to ensure your safety, they can be even better. 

Volunteer at Johnson Memorial Health

Topics: Aging