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How to Keep Your Home Safe For Both You and Your Caregiver

·      How to Keep Your Home Safe For Both You and Your Caregiver     

Keeping your home safe is an easy and great way to keep you staying at home. It also helps the caregivers that come to your home to be able to provide you with the best quality care. Its not as hard as some may think, and we are always available to make recommendations to help you with making some slight changes. The safer you are at home, the less risk and chance there is that you may experience a fall or injury. In the long run it will keep you thriving at home with as much independence as you can.


What are some common hazards in the everyday home?

With our home assessments we are always looking for preventable hazards such as clutter, lighting, and fall risks. Some ways to prevent injury at home include:


-       Bathroom Safety: Here are a few highly recommended actionable safety steps that can be implemented in the bathroom: Use Raised Toilet Seats: Implementing a raised toilet seat aids in the ease of sitting and standing, mitigating the risk of injury and is particularly beneficial for any older person with mobility issues. Ensure Proper Ventilation: Minimize the buildup of harmful chemicals from cleaning agents, safeguarding respiratory health. Anti-Slip Bath Mats: Use slip-resistant material on bath mats to prevent slips, addressing a critical tripping hazard in bathrooms.Temperature Regulated Faucets: These help avoid burns from hot water, crucial for older adults with sensitive skin.

-       Optimal Lighting: With aging, our vision may become worse due to disease. We want to ensure that all areas of the home that you frequently use have optimal lighting conditions to help you see clearer, especially at night time. In addition to testing light bulbs are working, we suggest you upgrade to brighter lights and also have someone install them in darkened areas of your home that you use, such as hallways. Night lights that are easy to turn on are also a good recommendation here. Night time accidents are usually caused by poor lighting, so we highly suggest night lights that can easily turn on and improve visibility.


-       Manage Cords Safely: What could be scarier then tripping and falling from an unsuspecting cord? Especially with canes and walker use in the home, we need to keep cord tucked, taped and clipped away if they are in a high volume area.


-       Rethinking Rugs and Mats: Unfortunately, rugs and mats that are frayed and not non slip are a top reason why seniors experience falls at home. As we age, we may not always be able to lift our feet as high when walking, and tend to shuffle. As a result we may trip and fall down with the risk of fracturing a bone or worse. What you can do is fasten down all throw rugs and clear floors of clutter to prevent falls.

Grab Bars: Grab bars are important in key areas that you frequently use and require you to have to change from one position to another. For example, in the washroom near the toilet and in the shower, the correct placement of grab bars will make it not only easier for you transfer yourself, but mitigate the risk of serious injury due to slippery floors and losing your balance. If your not sure if you need a grab bar, let us know as we can make recommendations for this for you.


-       Kitchen Safety: Here are a few highly recommended actionable safety steps that can be implemented in the Kitchen:  Automatic Shut-off Appliances: Reduce the risk of unattended appliances causing fires; Install a Cordless Phone: Ensure a cell phone is easily accessible to call for help in a medical emergency; Install Smoke Detectors: This will alert you to fire hazards promptly; Securely Store Harmful Chemicals: Keep these in marked containers out of reach, mitigating potential hazards related to accidental ingestion.


-       Improving Any Sensory Deficits: If you are hard of hearing or cannot see well, ensure you have your glasses on during the day as well as wearing hearing aides. Use phones that have larger buttons and screens for easier communication.


-       Electrical Safety Checks: In the winter time it is tempting to use space heaters, however, make sure to use them with caution. Turn them off when not in use and keep away from flammable materials. Also, to prevent fires, do not overload outlets with too many electrical sources.


-       Medication Management: At least once a year you and your caregiver should go through the medication cabinet together to remove old and expired medications so that you don’t accidently take it. If you are overwhelmed by your medications, your local pharmacist can help you sort this out as well if you bring all your meds in a shopping bag to them.


-       Installing Security Systems: Unfortunately, the rate of financial, cyber and theft are on the continued rise, especially amongst the vulnerable. Therefore, you should have a security system that alerts you to potential threats at your door and also to screen scam calls. With seniors living alone, systems can theoretically add another layer of security and peace of mind for them.


-       Install Safety Fire Alarms and Others:  With changes in sensory organs such as hearing and smelling  with aging,  the integrity of your fire and carbon monoxide detectors is paramount.  Make sure they are fit to official guidelines, ensuring prompt alerts to dangers.


-        Fire Safety:  If a fire were to break out, you or your caregiver should know where the nearest fire extinguisher is in your home, ideally in the kitchen. Check it quarterly to ensure it is in good working order and get to know how it works. In addition, a fire safety plan is good for all households to have in the event a fire becomes unmanageable.


-       Water Heating Settings: : Have someone that knows what they are doing look at your current water settings. Make sure it is not too hot to prevent you from accidently scalding yourself in the water while washing your hands or taking a shower.

Home safety is about creating a nurturing space where older adults feel empowered to live fully at home. Don’t hesitate to contact us for expert support in making your home a safe haven for you and your caregivers. Modern Day Home Health Care – 778 –539 – 5300


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