Your home should be your sanctuary, but it also can be filled with hidden dangers that may increase your risk of injury. From falls and tripping hazards to fires, here are some things seniors should look out for and precautions you should take:
Eliminate Tripping Hazards
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about 1 million seniors end up in the emergency room because of injuries caused by things in their home.
Slips and falls cause the majority of injuries seniors experience at home. Several things can cause a senior to slip and fall. A wet floor after a bath can lead to a fall. So can a carpet that covers the stairs or an area rug that shifts out of place. To reduce your risk of injury, place non-slip mats in your bathroom and kitchen, tape down and secure all area rugs and make sure all your hallways and stairways are well lit, so you can see where you are walking. Also try to de-clutter as much as possible. Sometimes electrical cords, furniture and other trinkets around the house can end up on the floor and cause you to slip. Get rid of anything you don’t need and make sure the items that you do need are properly organized and placed in containers.
Pay Attention to Fire Hazards
Some items in your home may be fire hazards. Never leave the stove unattended or burn candles and go to sleep without blowing them out. Don’t leave small electrical appliances, such as a curling or clothing iron, plugged in when you’re not using them. If you use space heaters, you should also be careful to not leave them near a curtain or other flammable material. These items can pose a fire hazard if they aren’t used properly and can also release carbon monoxide into your home, which could be fatal, especially if you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector.
To protect yourself and your home, make sure portable heating devices aren’t stored near anything flammable. Keep a fire extinguisher in your home,a smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm on every floor, ensuring that they work properly and have new batteries in them, if necessary.
Reduce Your Risk of Burn Injuries
In 2013, close to 69,000 people were admitted to the emergency room because of burn injuries associated with household appliances, according to the American Burn Association.
Everyday items in your home, including a coffee pot, tea kettle and the stove, can cause painful injuries. To reduce your risk of injury, keep your water heater set to around 120 degrees, make sure your hot and cold water faucets are clearly marked so you don’t accidentally burn yourself and give your beverages (like tea and coffee) time to cool before drinking them. You also should consider installing anti-scald devices on faucets and shower heads to better regulate water temperature and reduce your risk of a burn injury.
Wear the Right Clothing
Sometimes falls are caused by the shoes you wear. Flip-flops, for example, may lack grip, which makes it easier for you to slip and fall. Even small high heels can affect your balance and put unnecessary pressure on your joints. Wear comfortable shoes with adequate grip to prevent a fall.
Get a Medical Alert Device
Consider purchasing a medical alert device to wear around your neck or wrist. These devices can alert authorities and your loved ones if you fall or experience another medical emergency. As an added precaution, also keep important telephone numbers taped to your refrigerator or in another easily accessible place. Everyone knows to call 911, but make sure you also have contact information for your local fire department, police department, poison control center or a neighbor or close friend nearby who can help in the event of an emergency. Also place multiple phones around your home, so you can easily reach them — even if you can’t stand up — and call for help when necessary.
Follow all these tips to stay safe. Taking all these precautions may reduce your risk of injury and ensure you’re able to live independently — and safely — in your home for as long as possible.cialis