General Safety Tips for Seniors
- Either keep a cell phone on you or have a telephone that can be reached from floor level.
- Tape telephone numbers for the police, fire department, poison control, a relative and a neighbor to the phone or near it.
- At least one smoke detector should be placed on every floor and away from air vents.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector that sounds an alarm.
- Make sure door thresholds are either removed or lowered so there’s a clear entryway.
- Instead of twisting round doorknobs throughout the house, install lever-action handles.
Bathroom Safety for Seniors
- Place nonskid mats near the toilet and sinks.
- Install bath aids and grab bars on the walls of the bathtub/shower and on the sides of the toilet.
- Apply textured strips to the tub and make sure the bath mat has a non-slip bottom.
- Purchase a shower chair or tub bench.
- Turn the water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below to prevent scalding.
- Clearly label cold and hot faucets.
- Make sure that all containers in the medicine cabinet are clearly marked with proper dosage instructions and an expiration date.
- Leave a nightlight on in your bathroom overnight.
Kitchen Safety for Seniors
- Store hazardous materials away from food.
- Avoid using slippery wax on floors.
- Mark “on” and “off” positions on appliances clearly.
- Move cords and appliances away from the kitchen sink and hot surfaces.
- Move appliances closer to wall outlets to avoid needing extension cords
- If an extension cord is necessary, install wire guides so the cord doesn’t hang in a dangerous area.
- Keep flammable and combustible items away from the range and oven.
- Use ventilation systems or open windows to clear the air.
- Remove any towels hanging on oven handles.
- Shorten curtains or install blinds on windows near heat sources to avoid a fire.
- Roll up loose sleeves or fasten them with pins or elastic bands while cooking.
Living Room Safety for Seniors
- Arrange furniture so that outlets are available for lamps and appliances without the use of extension cords. If one is absolutely necessary, place it on the floor against a wall and out of the way.
- Make sure all mats have rubber or slip-resistant matting underneath.
- Remove or tack down rugs.
- Relocate heaters away from flammable items like curtains, rugs or furniture.
- Reduce glare by using frosted bulbs, indirect lighting or shades on light fixtures.
- Remove clutter and rearrange furniture to keep hallways open and barrier free.
- Have the chimney checked and cleaned by a professional.
- Place protective screens on the fireplace.
Stair Safety for Seniors
- Indoor stairs should be illuminated by having a switch at both the top and bottom of the staircase.
- Replace any worn carpeting or fraying areas and make sure you are wearing non-slip shoes or socks on all flooring.
- Avoid patterned or dark carpeting that can make it difficult to see the edges of the steps clearly.
- Mark outside steps with paint that has a rough texture in either white or yellow to see them in the dark more easily.
It’s easy to overlook the areas and items that might compromise safety. If you are a senior citizen or have a loved one who lives alone, take these safety tips to heart and consider making these modifications to make your home the safe haven it should be.
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