Home Safety Measures When Caring for the Elderly
Helping a loved one fulfill their wish to stay living at home can be very rewarding. You are helping your parents maintain the quality of life that they want to have. However, aging in place at home requires some oversight and monitoring in order to have peace of mind that the home continues to be a safe living environment. To help achieve this goal, this week's blog is a Do-It-Yourself Home Safety Assessment which you can use for the home of your parent, another loved one, or even yourself. Review the following sections for different areas of the home.
- Stairs have slip-proof strip
- Handrail on stairs is secure
- Well-lit area around path leading to door – consider motion sensor lighting
- Path around house is clear of debris, branches and leaves
- No cracks in pavement leading to door or around house
- Peephole in door for seeing visitors before opening door
- Garbage bins have wheels for easy towing to curb
- Home security system installed – perhaps consider one that includes security cameras
- Advertise any home security system that is installed (some people put up the stickers regardless of whether they have the system or not!)
- Appliances in working order
- Keep a list of emergency contact numbers on the fridge
- Are you starting to worry that your parent might turn on an appliance and forget about it? If so, consider a monitoring system that uses sensors for placement on appliances.
- Want to guard against flooding? Consider a smart Wi-Fi enabled water sensor that can detect leaks and flooding around sinks, dishwashers, and washing machines.
- Uncluttered walkways
- No tattered area rugs
- No objects on the floor which shouldn't be on the floor (e.g. newspapers, magazines, clothing, etc.)
- Grab bars in shower stall or near bathtub
- Grab bar near toilet
- Elevated toilet seat
- Tub seat or tub mat to avoid slips
- Consider a "smart" wifi enabled water sensor that can detect leaks and overflowing around sinks and bathtubs
- Phone is near the bed
- Clear path between bed and bathroom
- Nightlight if needed
- Bedrail in place for those needing help getting up
- Railing secure
- Well lit
- No items left on stairs
- Light switches at top and bottom of stairs
- Is it time to install an emergency alert system? Lifeline and other home monitoring systems now have an added feature for fall detection.
- There is a smoke detector on every floor of the home. Consider upgrading to a smart Wi-Fi connected smoke and carbon monoxide detector.
- Smoke detectors checked twice a year
- All lights in working order
- House is free of rodents and bugs
- System in place for disposal of garbage, recycling and compost
- Doorbell works
- No electrical cords run across walkways, under rugs, or across doorways
- All exterior doors have a deadbolt lock
- First-Aid Kit and Earthquake Kit