Identifying Hazards Around the House

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Dressing:

Common Hazards:

  • Trips or loss of balance.

Safety Tips:

  • Get a hamper so clothes do not pile up on floor.
  • Have a firm-backed chair to allow your loved one to be seated when dressing.

Lighting:

Common Hazards:

  • Bumping into items and falls.

Safety Tips:

  • Consider a night light.
  • Place lamps in easy reach of the bed, so the senior does not have to maneuvere in the dark.

Just in Case:

Safety Tips:

  • Have a bedside phone with preset numbers for ease of dialing.
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Medications:

Common Hazards:

  • Forgetting to take medication.

Safety measures to install/implement:

  • Use daily/weekly medication reminder containers.
  • Post reminder notes on the mirror.
  • Use medication alert systems.

Self Sufficiency:

Safety measures to install/implement:

  • Raised toilet seat with arms
  • Hand-held shower nozzle and a shower seat
  • Floor to ceiling grab bars for showers and tubs
  • Remove all small rugs or use only bath mats with rubberized backs

Slippery Tile:

Signs of Struggling with Mobility and Balance:

Look for signs your loved one has fallen or uses these items for support.

  • Loose towel bars
  • Torn shower curtain
  • Crumpled up bath mats
  • Cracked sink or tiles

Hot Seat:

Common Hazard:

  • Burns from hot water

Safety measures to install/implement:

  • Lower the water heater output temperature.
  • Consider scald-guard taps.
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Higher Cost:

Financial Trouble:

  • High heating/cooling bills

Safety Tips:

  • Install lock-in switches on thermostats to control the temperature and help prevent fires.

Repositioned:

Signs of Struggling with Mobility

Look for signs of recent falls.

  • Broken or missing tables, lamps or decorations
  • Repositioned furniture

Safety Tips:

  • Install adequate lighting throughout the house.
  • Remove clutter and clear walk paths.

Floors:

Common Hazards:

  • Trips and falls

Safety Tips:

  • Install low-pile carpets and remove all small throw rugs.
  • Install rubber ramps for thresholds on doors and between different floor types.
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Heat is on:

Common Hazards:

  • Starting an oven fire.
  • Getting burned.

Safety Tips:

  • Make sure smoke detectors are working and consider an alarm system with fire detection if your loved one is hard-of-hearing.
  • Install lock-in switches on stoves.

Yuck:

Common Hazards:

  • Consuming poisonous items

Safety Tips:

  • Lock up cleaning fluids and other poisonous items.
  • Put emergency contact and medical information on the refrigerator for EMS personnel.

Hub of the Home:

Common Hazards:

  • Spills or falls

Safety Tips:

  • Remove any small carpets.
  • Get a mobile stool to reduce long periods of standing while cooking.
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Oil Slick:

Common Hazards:

  • Falls on smooth/polished floors or down steps without railings

Facts on Fall Risks:

  • Falls are the leading cause of injury among adults aged 65 years and older and can result in severe injuries such as hip fractures and head traumas.

Fresh Air:

Common Hazards:

  • Leaving doors or windows unlocked or open
  • Trash piling up

Safety Tips:

  • Have someone stop by and take out the trash.
  • Install an alarm system that shows doors and windows status remotely.

Giving Up Power:

Common Hazards:

  • Misusing power tools

Safety Tips:

  • Lock up power tools or remove them from the home.
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Wall-to-Wall:

Safety Tips:

  • Install wall-to-wall low-pile carpets and remove all small throw rugs.
  • Install overhead lighting.

Facts on Fall Risks:

  • In the next 30 minutes, an older adult will die from injuries sustained in a fall.

Beneath the Surface:

Signs of Struggling with Mobility:

  • Watch for troubling behaviours such as wandering, altercations, or hoarding

Safety Tips:

  • If items are stored in damp conditions, test for mold. Many types of mold are bad for overall health.
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Laundry Room:

Common Hazards:

  • Falls:
    • Carrying heavy clothes baskets
    • Spilled water or detergent

Safety Tips:

  • Offer regular reminders.

Weekly Clean:

Common Hazards:

  • Poor overall hygiene

Safety Tips:

  • Consider a pickup laundry service if available in the area.
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Out Front Door:

Common Hazards:

  • Falls, far from phones or other means of help

Safety Tips:

  • Make sure all steps have proper handrails.
  • Consider a medical alert system.

In the Yard:

Safety Tips:

  • Place chairs or benches throughout the yard to allow a senior to sit and enjoy nature.

Facts on Fall Risks:

  • Many older adults, even if they have not suffered a fall, become afraid of falling and restrict their activity, which drastically decreases their quality of life.
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