Home Safety Tips for Sacramento Seniors
Due to the growing popularity of in-home care for seniors, it’s important to make sure you and your elder loved one are aware of the potential dangers present in the home to prepare accordingly. You can help prevent falls and accidents by making changes to unsafe areas in the home. These tips can help you in caring for your loved one and provide peace of mind.
General Home Safety
As you walk throughout the house, focus on the main areas that are navigated through. The house should be free from clutter with adequate lighting and night light. Also, walkways must free and clear so as not to cause falls. Another fall hazard is pets. While pets make for great companions, they can unintentionally cause trips. Lastly, and importantly, throw rugs need to be removed from the home (or at least use 2-sided tape to hold down the edges). Throw rugs are the #1 reason people over 65 visit the emergency room! Of those, 30% will have an extended stay.
Shield Against Wrongdoing
It goes without saying, but never let a stranger come inside when alone. If a salesperson approaches, whether on the phone or in person, talk over offers with a trusted friend or family member and do not feel that you must buy what is being sold.
Seniors have all kinds of people going through their houses (contractors, plumbers, friends, neighbors, etc.) therefore only keep enough narcotic medications on hand for a one-week supply. The rest should be stored in a safe location away from visitors. Firearms are another item that needs to be under lock and key. As a cop friend of mine used to say: “Locks are for keeping honest people honest”.
Protect Against Fire and Related Dangers
Appliances with frayed and damaged cords can easily cause a fire, so check them regularly and make sure the socket and/or extension cord is not overwhelmed with too many cords.
A smoke detector needs to be in each bedroom, areas adjacent to bedrooms, and on each floor of the house. The alarms should be inspected regularly and batteries changed twice a year. During cooking, do not wear loose clothing or clothing that has long sleeves. A fire extinguisher needs to be placed in the kitchen and inside the garage door leading from the house. Lastly,
place fire extinguishers in the kitchen and inside the garage door leading from the house.
Write a list of emergency numbers and keep them beside each phone. Make sure the print is large enough to be easily readable. Make sure to have numbers for:
- Poison Control
- Family Member/Friend
- Physician’s Number
Prevent Bathroom Threats
If not outfitted correctly, the bathroom can pose a formidable risk. Water causes the floor and surface areas to become wet and unstable. To prevent slipping, place rubber mats by high traction areas (bathtub, sink, toilet). If it is difficult for your loved one to shower, install a wand and shower chair/bench to provide ease and rest. It is also important that grab bars are installed in the shower and near the toilet to make getting around easier and safer. To help get on and off the toilet, a raised seat can be used. A question you may need to ask is whether some remodeling may need to be done to the make access safe for your elderly loved one.
Safety Proof the Stairs
Although stairs can be difficult to navigate, a ramp or lift can make them easier to access. To be able to reach vehicles with greater ease and to prevent falling outside, exterior ramps can be installed. However, please keep in mind that ramps should only be installed by a professional who can build the ramp to specifically for the senior to use. For those living in the Sacramento area, we have someone that we recommend. (link to: http://www.sacramentohandyman.com/index).
Check out this page on California Community Resources for Seniors. It includes many resources from the state of California to help seniors and their families deal with the challenge of aging.
About The Writer
Patrick Philbrick founded Harmony Home Care in Sacramento, CA in 2013 along with his wife, Jennifer.
Through his commitment, dedication, and compassionate teamwork, Patrick has led Harmony to excel as a paradigm in the in-home care industry throughout the greater Sacramento region.
Having over 20 years’ experience in business and marketing, it’s his passion for serving those in need through his church that led him to start Harmony Home Care.