Home safety is something that we are all concerned about. Falls, fires, security, and general home maintenance are factors we think about for ourselves, family members, friends, and loved ones. As time goes on, we are living longer and are often able to remain in our home longer as long as it’s a safe place to age. Here are some helpful tips to keep us safely at home.
When it comes to falls, there are many ways to help keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. The first thing that probably comes to mind are rugs. As we age, we tend to lose our stability and have aches and pains. As a result, we tend to not take as large of steps or lift our feet as high off the ground. Because of these changes, it is recommended that we get rid of any and all throw rugs. If you must have them, it is important that they are secured to the ground with a rubber backing.
Here in Michigan, it is also important that we remember to keep landings and patios free from ice and snow. Stairways should also be free from clutter and railings should be secure to help prevent falls. It can be very easy to throw items in the stairway to take care of later, but it is one of the most common places for us to lose our balance and fall.
Be aware of any extension cords stretched across the room as well, as they can easily become a tripping hazard. Wearing non-slip footwear such as tennis shoes or slippers with rubber soles are best to avoid falls. In the bathroom, replacing bathtubs with walk-in models, changing your regular toilet seat to a raised one, and installing nightlights can also help prevent falls.
Fire safety is another thing we need to keep in mind. Making sure that fire alarms and carbon monoxide are installed and working properly is vital. It is important to check/change the batteries regularly. Monitor any lit candles and keep them in a glass container. Unplugging unused appliances and limiting use of space heaters are important habits for fire safety.
Keeping fire extinguishers in different places throughout the house is recommended as well. You may be able to get them for low or not cost by calling 211. Residents of the city of Battle Creek can request smoke detectors for their homes at no charge as well. Please call the fire department at (269) 966-3519 for more information.
Other home safety measures that should be taken are having medications and first aid kits readily available. If you or a loved one live alone, a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) is a good resource to ensure that help is just a call away. For more information about a PERS, please contact CareWell Services, at (269) 441-0930.
A Help Home Personal ID Bracelet is also a useful tool for medical safety. The Help Home Personal ID Program provides support for the person in early stages of dementia to continue to be active. The bracelet is specially designed to be comfortable and waterproof. It allows for emergency and medical information to be stored and accessed by emergency personnel if your loved one wanders. For more information, please call Miles for Memories at (269) 979-1412, ext 305 and ask for Connie.
Other good phone numbers to have on hand are:
Poison Control 1-800-222-1222
Emergency Response 911
Emergency contacts for family and friends
Professional caregiving services
Your Healthcare provider