Home Safety Checklist
Each year, tens of thousands of seniors die as a result of falling. In fact, falling is the leading cause of injuries for older people. With statistics like that, no senior can afford to be living by themselves, without proper attention, care and a safety net in place. For many, the best option is to move into a retirement community, where options are available for every conceivable interest, price point, and location. But for those who want to remain at home, safety must come first. So here is a checklist you need to have to make your home as safe as it needs to be: The most frequent accidents involving older people are:
- Falls in the bathroom and on the stairs.
- Burns and smoke inhalation from fires.
- Scalds from hot tap water.
- Electric shock.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends the following for Older Consumers: To help prevent falls:
- When using stairs, always grip the handrails. Keep stairs well lighted.
- Keep floors cleared and slip resistant. Remove loose carpets, cords and other items you could trip over. Be sure all rugs, mats, and other surface are non-skid.
- Install grab bars and slip-resistant surfaces in your bathroom.
- Use only stable step stools with a top handrail. Don’t climb alone have someone nearby to help you.
- Stand up slowly from a sitting or lying down position.
- Be sure your telephones and emergency numbers are easily accessible—so you can get help if you fall.
To help prevent fire deaths and injuries:
- Install a smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on every floor of your home.
- Install a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm outside every sleeping area.
- Don’t smoke in bed.
- Keep space heaters away from flammable materials. Hire a professional to check all fuel-burning appliances, including fireplaces, every year.
- Don’t wear loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves near ranges or ovens.
- Store combustibles away from these and all heat-producing appliances.
- Practice an emergency fire escape plan