Home Safety Checklist for Aging Adults
As our loved ones age, they stand a higher risk of injuries from falls, accidental fires, and other hazards. They may also become forgetful about things they used to do on a routine basis – like checking the batteries in the fire alarms. This means for your peace of mind and your loved one’s safety, it’s important to run through a checklist every six months to make sure your loved one’s home is as safe as possible.
So, what should be on your home safety checklist? We have a roundup of some of the considerations you might want to take into account when it comes to home safety.
Fire and Carbon Monoxide Hazards
The first checklist item you should look into is whether your elderly loved one’s residence offers any form of protection from fire hazards and Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
Some important questions to ask include;
- Does each room or level of your loved one’s house have a smoke detector with one located inside the room they sleep in?
- Does the house have carbon monoxide detectors installed?
- How often is the furnace inspected if any?
- Does the house have easy-to-use fire extinguishers installed at convenient positions in the kitchen and around the house?
- How easy is it to turn the dials on the stove without reaching over the burners?
Additionally, it might make sense to remove all candles as it’s easy to forget to blow them out when your loved one leaves the home.
Lighting and Tripping Hazards
You might want to make sure the house where your loved one spends most of their time is well lit with a specific focus on areas such as stairs, and corners.
Ensure there’s no clutter such as kid’s toys lying around or loose rugs that would otherwise pose a tripping hazard.
Your checklist for lighting and falling hazards should entail:
- Adequate lighting in all parts of the home, in bathrooms, near stairs with on-off switches at both the top and bottom and between rooms.
- Ensure that places your elderly loved one frequents the most are well lit. Install nightlights in strategic places such as the pathways to the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom.
- Ensure your elderly loved one wears slip-resistant slippers or shoes around the house.
- Make sure the floor is level and the transitions between rooms should be in good condition.
- Ensure all railings are strong enough to hold up an adult’s weight. Install grab bars in locations where your elderly loved one might need extra support such as by their bedside, toilet seat, and bathtub.
- Ensure the stairway is clutter-free and that your carpeting has sufficient grip.
- Ensure electrical cords are neatly tucked away to minimize the risk of tripping.
Electrical Hazards, Medicines, and Poisons
For your peace of mind and the safety of your elderly loved one, you might also want to have ground fault circuit breakers installed in wet or damp parts of the house such as the bathroom or basement. These offer protection against electrocution.
If you, a member of your family, or your elderly loved one is on any medication, be sure to safely store them away in a locked cabinet.
Other harmful materials such as cleaning supplies, insecticides should be stored out of reach preferably in a locked shed. Ensure your elderly loved has help or supervision when handling said materials.
It is recommended you do a complete home safety assessment, map out risk-prone areas, anticipate accidents and take precautions ahead of time. After conducting the safety-check should there be a need for extra assistance, Caring Home Care has a nurse registry that will match you or your loved with personal care based on specific needs.