SENIOR
HOME
SAFETY




HOME SAFETY TIPS

GENERAL SAFETY TIPS

BATHROOM SAFETY TIPS

KITCHEN SAFETY TIPS

DRUG SAFETY

KITCHEN FIRE SAFETY

SAFETY IN THE BATHROOM

REDUCE RISKS IN THE KITCHEN

THINK SAFETY FIRST

SAFETY FOR SENIOR'S WITH ALZHEIMER'S

HOME SAFETY LINKS


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SECTION 1



HOME
SAFETY
TIPS
FOR
SENIORS




Relying on home care for elderly seniors is
an increasingly viable and popular elder care
option, but it’s still important to make sure
you and your loved one are aware of the
potential dangers in one’s home and prepare
accordingly.

Please use the following home safety tips for
seniors to help your loved one stay safe while
living at home.




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SECTION 2



GENERAL
SAFETY
TIPS
FOR
SENIORS




•Consider a medical alert or a buddy system.

•Keep a fire extinguisher and smoke detector
on every floor.

•Use extreme caution when smoking. Never
smoke when alone or in bed.

•Always get up slowly after sitting or lying
down. Take your time, and make sure you
have your balance.

•Wear proper fitting shoes with low heels.

•Use a correctly measured walking aid.

•Remove or tack down all scatter rugs.

•Remove electrical or telephone cords
from traffic areas.

•Avoid using slippery wax on floors.

•Wipe up spills promptly.

•Avoid standing on ladders or chairs.

•Have sturdy rails for all stairs inside
and outside the house.

•Use only non-glare 100 watt or greater
incandescent bulbs (or the fluorescent
equivalents).

•Make sure that all stair cases have good
lighting with switches at top and bottom.

•Staircase steps should have a non-slip
surface.




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SECTION 3



BATHROOM
SAFETY
TIPS
FOR
SENIORS




•Leave a light on in your bathroom at night.

•Use recommended bath aids, securely installed
on the walls of the bath/shower stall and on
the sides of the toilet.

•Skid-proof the tub and make sure the bath mat
has a non-slip bottom.

•To avoid scalds, turn water heater to 120 degrees
Fahrenheit or below.

•Mark cold and hot faucets clearly.

•Use door locks that can be opened from both sides.

•If possible, bathe only when help is available.




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SECTION 4



KITCHEN
SAFETY
TIPS
FOR
SENIORS




•Keep floors clean and uncluttered.

•Illuminate work areas.

•Mark "on" and "off" positions on
appliances clearly and with bright
colors.

•Store sharp knives in a rack.

•Use a kettle with an automatic shut off.

•Store heavier objects at waist level.

•Store hazardous items separate from food.

•Avoid wearing long, loose clothing when
cooking over the stove.

•Make sure food is rotated regularly
Check expiration dates.




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SECTION 5



DRUG
SAFETY




•Review your medicines frequently with your
doctor or pharmacist and when you take new
medication.

•Make sure medicines are clearly labeled.

•Read medicine labels in good light to ensure
you have the right medicine and always take
the correct dose.

•Dispose of any old or used medicines.

•Never borrow prescription drugs from others.

•Check with your doctor or pharmacist before
you mix alcohol and your drugs.

•Have medication dispensed in a bubble pack
or convenient dispenser.

•Check with your doctor or pharmacist before
mixing non-prescription drugs and prescription
drugs.



Home Safety Tips for Seniors
http://home-care.aplaceformom.com/articles/home-safety-tips-for-seniors/



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SECTION 6



KITCHEN
FIRE
SAFETY




While the kitchen is often referred to as the
"heart of the house," it can be a dangerous
place for elderly people. In fact, according
to the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA) people over the age of 65 have a 2.5
times greater risk of dying in a kitchen fire
than the general population. Cooking is one
of the leading causes of fire in the home,
FEMA says, accounting for thousands of
injuries and deaths each year.

There are many reasons why our aging loved ones
are at greater risk for fire death and injuries:


•They may be less able to take the quick action
necessary in a fire emergency due to physical,
visual, and hearing impairments

•The medications your loved one is taking may
affect their ability to make quick decisions or
responds in a timely fashion

•Diminished mental facilities due to depression,
forms of dementia or Alzheimer's disease also
make reaction times slower

•Seniors may not have others around to help
during a cooking fire




Never leave food unattended


Most kitchen fires occur because food is left
unattended on the stove or in the oven. Never
leave food that is cooking on the stove
unattended. Never leave the kitchen — even for
a short time — when food is frying, grilling,
or broiling. Don't leave the house if food is
simmering, baking, or roasting.




Handles


Keep pot handles turned inward. When handles are
turned outward, or even to the side, they can be
easily bumped, causing the pot to spill or fall
over.




Select the right pots and pans


For people with arthritis, Parkinson's disease or
general muscle decline, heavy pots and pans are an
accident waiting to happen – especially if the pan
is full of grease, which can easily ignite if
spilled.

Products that can help: two handled pans allow the
senior to lift and maneuver hot heavy pans with
more stability.




Be aware of clothing


Avoid wearing loose clothing with flowing
sleeves while cooking. Robes, house dresses
and other garments that may be comfortable
for a senior often have extra loose sleeves
that could potentially ignite if they get
too close to a hot burner. Opt for comfortable
clothing that has short or tight-fitting
sleeves.




Clear the clutter


Keep cooking surfaces and surrounding areas
free from clutter. Use pot holders and oven
mitts, but keep them away from the stovetop
when not using them. Many cooking aids can
be combustible: never leave oven mitts,
dishtowels, wooden utensils, paper, plastic
bags, cardboard boxes, cans of cooking spray,
or oils near open burners.




Clean surfaces


The accumulation of grease on kitchen appliance
hoods and in exhaust systems can lead to disaster.
Clean cooking surfaces regularly to prevent grease
buildup, which can start fires.




Have proper safety equipment


Make sure there is a working smoke detector
in the kitchen. Test and dust each alarm
monthly, and change the batteries at least
once a year. Have a small fire extinguisher
in the kitchen. Teach your loved one how to
use it. If necessary, write instructions for
use and tape it to the extinguisher.


Seniors don't have to give up their love of
cooking just because they've lost some mobility
or mental capacity. The key is to provide a
safe environment for them to cook in.



Kitchen Fires: Make Cooking Safer for Seniors
http://www.agingcare.com/Articles/seniors-kitchen-fires-safe-cooking-149302.htm



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SECTION 7



SAFETY
IN
THE
BATHROOM




Elder Care:

Prevent Falls in the Bathroom

Seven Cheap & Easy Ways




One of the most dangerous rooms in the house
for an aging senior citizen is the bathroom.
It's the combination of water and slippery
surfaces which make the bathroom such a hazard,
especially for the elderly who are a little
unsteady on their feet and must walk with a
cane or walker.

To prevent a senior citizen from accidental
falling in the bathroom, here are seven cheap
and easy things you can do:



Eliminate slippery throw rugs:

Throw rugs and fabric bath mats can slip and
slide underfoot, and will also trip up a walker
or a cane. For senior citizens with limited
mobility, then it's best to not have any throw
rugs in the bathroom at all.



Brighten up the room:


Senior citizens need brighter lights to see,
which is why it's a good reason to change out
those low wattage bulbs to ones that throw out
more light.

For nighttime trips to the bathroom, install
a couple of bright night lights to illuminate
the path.



Get rid of bath oils:


Bath oils and oils based moisturizers can leave
the bathtub with a slippery finish that can cause
a person to fall. Instead of using oil based
products in the tub, stick to soaps that rinse
away clean.



Place a rubber bath mat in the tub:


A non-slip rubber bath mat in the tub can help
provide firmer footing for a senior. When
selecting a mat, choose a mat that is large
enough to provide a solid footing, has a suction
cup backing, and is a different color than that
of the tub or shower floor.



Install a grab bar near the bathtub or shower:


Grab bars are short, vertical bars that provide
a little extra support for seniors as they step
out of the tub. Wall mount grab bars are easy to
install and cost as little as $15.00.



Get the stuff off the floor:


Dropped towels, stacked packages of toilet paper,
floor heaters, trash cans, and magazines on the
floor are all hazards that can get in the way of
a walker or cane, and can cause a person to fall.
You can eliminate those tripping hazards by
removing everything from the floor that really
doesn't belong there.



Wear Aqua shoes while bathing:


Aqua shoes are specially designed mesh shoes that
can be worn in water. These high traction, low
cost shoes are very practical for senior citizens
to wear while bathing since they can prevent an
accidental fall in the shower, the tub, or even a
wet bathroom floor. Aqua shoes are available at
most discount department stores for under $20.



Prevent Falls in the Bathroom
http://voices.yahoo.com/elder-care-prevent-falls-bathroom-seven-cheap-3008085.html

Bathroom Safety
http://www.boomers-with-elderly-parents.com/elderly-parents-bathroom-safety.html



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SECTION 8



REDUCE
RISK
IN
THE
KITCHEN




Ten Simple Ways to Reduce Safety Risks in the Kitchen



Here are just a few suggestions on how
caregivers may make the kitchen a safer
place. Caregivers should also check with
local Elderly Community Services, the
Alzheimer's Organization or AARP for
additional resources on creating safe
environments throughout the home.


* Remove throw or scatter rugs from the kitchen
floor – these are a major and ongoing source of
elderly falls that often result in permanent
disability for elders.

* Make sure all electrical cords are covered or
securely tacked down to prevent accidents –
Place socket covers over electrical sockets that
are not in use. Make sure that electrical cords
don't dangle over the edge of the counter or lie
on the floor, creating a potential elderly fall
hazard.

* Keep flammable liquids (such as lighter fluid)
out of the kitchen and store in a safe location
out of doors – Check under the sink and in the
utility room. You'd be surprised how many items
stored under the kitchen sink are flammable.

* Get rid of the 'junk drawer' - (Many elderly
parents with various forms of dementia or
Alzheimer's will often eat matches, plastic,
washers, erasers and other objects).

* Think about disengaging the garbage disposal
- That's an accident just waiting to happen.

* Install child-proof locks or latches to
cupboards that contain knives, cooking utensils
and other objects that may break or cause injury.

* Keep medications in a secured location - ask
your health care professional for advice.

* Consider removing the knobs from the stove, or
installing a gas shut- off valve that may be
turned off when the stove is not in use.

* Install a nightlight in the kitchen.

* If necessary, remove counter top appliances
such as blenders, mixers, toasters or coffee
makers to prevent potential accidents. Move
cords out of the way of other appliances and
keep away from sinks and stove tops.




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SECTION 9



THINK
SAFETY
FIRST




Many caregivers of elderly parents are hesitant
to make such changes because they are afraid of
hurting feelings. However, when compared to the
alternative, it's best to be firm and make
safety a priority. A caregiver's approach to
safeguard the kitchen area will naturally depend
on the cognitive levels of his or her parent.

Nevertheless, ensuring elderly parent safety in
every room of the house, not just the kitchen,
is important for their safety. As many elders
developcognitive issues, it may be difficult
for himor her to differentiate between safe
and unsafe.
That's your job as a caregiver.

Ensure that any room in the house, especially
the kitchen, is 'elderly parent friendly' and
will allow easy and safe access even for those
using canes and walkers.



Ten Simple Ways to Reduce Safety Risks in the Kitchen
http://www.boomers-with-elderly-parents.com/elderly-parents-home-safety.html



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SECTION 10



12
HOME
SAFETY
TIPS
FOR
SENIORS
WITH
ALZHEIMER'S




Caregivers of seniors afflicted with Alzheimer’s
disease face great challenges everyday.

Significant time and attention is focused on
activities to keep your senior loved one healthy
and happy, with their safety a continuous concern.

We have some tips that can help you make your
senior’s home, or home away from home if they
are visiting, a safer place to let them keep
both a degree of independence and as much
freedom from injury as you can provide – not
to mention providing some peace of mind for
their loved ones.


1. Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms
in hallways near sleeping areas on all levels of
your home. You should also place one near the
kitchen area where stove fires may be a risk.
Be sure to replace the batteries regularly.

2. Install secure locks on all doors and windows.
If necessary, install alarms on key exit points
so you can be alerted if your senior loved one
attempts to leave the house without your
knowledge.

3. Find a secure hiding spot for a house key outside
of your home in case your senior locks you out of
the house. Also keep a spare key handy for any
interior doors that may be accidentally locked,
such as bathrooms, basement or garage doors.

4. Use childproof devices such as outlet plugs,
drawer locks on kitchen drawers, medicine cabinet
locks, nonskid mats and strips in the tub, etc.
These are usually readily available and easy to
install. Remove knobs from the stove, oven,
washer and dryer. Dismantle or disable the garbage
disposal and install traps in kitchen drains to
prevent blockages.

5. Be sure all stairways inside and outside your
home have handrails that extend beyond the first
and last step. Install safe, nonskid flooring
on the stairs and keep all wooden stairs in good
repair to prevent falling. Install grab bars in
the bathroom and any other location, such as
closets, that might pose a risk.

6. Store certain items that can pose a danger out
of the reach of your senior loved, including
plastic bags, lighters, guns, sharp knives, sharp
tools, power tools, alcohol, medications,
poisonous plants, cleaning products and chemicals.

7. Avoid clutter throughout passageways and living
areas, as that can pose a fall risk. Remove
portable space heaters or fans. Remove extension
electrical cords that can easily be tripped over.

8. Maintain adequate lighting throughout the
interior and exterior of your senior’s home.

9. Remove throw rugs. Eliminate any areas of uneven
surfaces that could cause a trip and fall.

10. Keep you senior’s water heater at 120 degrees
to prevent scalding.

11. Place decals on sliding door windows to assure
the glass is visible.

12. Install a yard fence to allow your senior loved
one room to roam. Keep patio areas free from debris,
uneven surfaces, chemicals, limit pool access and
secure barbecue grill.


Whether or not you can leave your senior loved one
home alone after you have improved the safety of his
or her home environment is an issue you should
discuss with your Alzheimer’s expert or other health
care professional. Allow them to guide you and
follow their advice for maximum safety.

The changes that you make now may not be all the
changes you will need. Alzheimer’s disease is
progressive, therefore behavior changes in your
senior may mean that you will have to review his
or her environment on a regular basis to be sure
there are no further modifications that are
required for safety.

Modifying the kitchen may involve some time and
effort, but in the long run, your efforts will
pay off, not only for your elderly parent, but
also for all members of the family.

It's not an easy task, but with a little planning
and a developed course of action that may be
initiated as increasing needs demand, you can help
make the kitchen one of the safest areas of the
house, and not the other way around.



12 Home Safety Tips for Seniors with Alzheimer’s
http://seniorcarecorner.com/12-home-safety-tips-for-seniors-with-alzheimers



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SECTION 11



HOME
SAFETY
FOR
SENIORS
LINKS




American Senior Safety Agency
http://www.seniorsafety.com/

Elderly Home Safety Tips
http://www.gracefulaging.com/category/safety/home-safety/

Checklists & Assessments
http://www.agis.com/eldercare-checklist/

Crime Victim Prevention
http://www.boomers-with-elderly-parents.com/crime-victim-seniors.html

Elderly Home Safety Tips
http://www.ehow.com/facts_5670110_elderly-home-safety-tips.html

Fire Inspection Checklist
http://www.mobile-eyes.org

Guide to Home Safety for Seniors
http://www.csa.us/HomeSafetyGuide.aspx

Home safety
http://www.seniormag.com/caregiverresources/healthtips/homesafety.htm

Home Safety Checklists for Older Adults
http://www.aarp.org/home-garden/.../make-your-home-a-safe-home.html



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Home Safety Council
http://www.homesafetycouncil.org/

Lift Chair
http://www.boomers-with-elderly-parents.com/lift-chair.html

My Senior Center.com
http://www.myseniorcenter.com

Planning for Safety
http://www.caregiverstress.com/senior-safety/planning-tips/

Residential Fire Safety
http://www.firelert.com

Safety Tips For Seniors
http://www.crimepreventiontips.org/self-defense-methods/safety-tips-for-seniors.html

Safety Tips For Seniors Who Travel
http://www.eldercarecafe.net/safety-tips-for-seniors-who-travel/

Senior Citizen Safety
http://www.ehow.com/facts_5730524_senior-citizen-safety.html

Senior Citizen Safety Tips
http://www.ehow.com/list_7416085_senior-citizen-safety-tips.html

Senior Home Safety Assessment
http://www.eldercareteam.com/public/390.cfm

Senior Home Safety Checklist
http://www.seniorresource.com/Senior_Home_Safety_Checklist.htm

Senior Home Safety Network SHSN
http://www.seniorhomesafetynetwork.com/

Walk in Tub
http://www.boomers-with-elderly-parents.com/walk-in-tub.html



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