General Safety Precautions
- Develop an emergency exit plan in case of a fire. This plan should include a meeting place outside your home to ensure that everyone has escaped.
- Safely hide house key outside and consider giving your neighbor a set for emergencies.
- Inform neighbors of any safety features in home that may restrict entry to your home.
- Notify local police department if your family member is memory impaired or has dementia.
- Leave the Emergency Information Front-Door-Bag on the inside of the front door in the event of a medical emergency.
- This bag contains health information, emergency contacts and general information specific to the individual.
- Take away house keys and car keys when necessary and disarm or hide controls for automatic garage doors.
- Keep flashlights in different parts of your home readily available, and check their batteries regularly.
- Keep items you use often accessible and easily reachable.
All Areas of the Home
- Be certain that there is adequate lighting throughout the house and install nightlights.
- Reduce clutter and remove furniture that is hazardous and may move when leaned on.
- Remove or lock up sharp objects/breakable items and remove all firearms from home.
- Ensure lamp, extension and telephone cords are placed out of the flow or traffic area.
- Secure loose and hanging cords and tuck them out from beneath furniture and rugs or carpeting and do not run cords across walkways.
- Do not attach cords to the wall and baseboard with nails or staples.
- Regularly check electrical cords for frays and cracks.
- Make sure you use the properly rated extension cord for use with appliances. If an extension cord is needed, use one having a sufficient amp or wattage rating.
- Avoid polished floors that may be slippery and remove all non-skid resistant rugs and runners.
- Use only slip-resistant rugs or runners.
- Check rugs and mats periodically to see if backing needs to be replaced.
- Emergency numbers (i.e. Police, Fire Department, local Poison Control, Family and Neighbor’s contact information) should be written in large print and posted on or near the telephone area.
- Find a phone with large number pads and large speed-dial keys that can be programmed with important numbers.
- Supply telephone with direct dialing system for emergency/important numbers.
- Have at least one telephone readily accessible in the event of an accident which leaves you unable to stand.
- Make sure that there are working smoke detectors on every floor.
- Test your smoke detector batteries regularly (at least twice a year).
- Be certain that no outlets or switches are unusually warm or hot to touch.
- Ensure all outlets and switches have cover plates so that no wiring is exposed.
- Check that all electrical cords are free of frays. Put childproof plugs in outlets
- Lock up cleaning supplies, chemicals and poisons and install a carbon monoxide detector.
- Put opaque or reflector tape on glass doors and picture windows
- Put reflector tape on furniture corners, hallways, bedrooms to create a path to follow at night.
- Store all prescription and over the counter medications safely away and clearly labeled.
- Keep medication away from extreme humidity and temperature.
- Use appropriate size and type of light bulb for lamp or fixture.
- Keep electric fans out of reach. Cover radiators with radiator guards.
- Supervise or restrict smoking, use safety ashtrays and keep matches/lighters out of reach.
- Lock up valuables, important papers and documents and have system for safe mail retrieval.
- Regularly check all plumbing and utilities to ensure they are working properly.
- Relocate small stoves and space heaters away from passageways and flammable materials such as curtains, rugs, furniture, etc.
- Wood burning stoves should be installed by a qualified person according to local building codes.
- Always keep floors and walkway uncluttered and doorway accessible.
- Make sure there is a safe entry into the house or apartment and that secure railing is available.
- Provide viewing of visitors prior to entry when possible.
- Put automatic door closing devices on doors to outside and alarms when needed.
- Secure doors to outside with double key locks, or high or low locks.
Living Area/Family Area
- Fireplace and Chimney should be clear from accumulations of leaves or other debris that can clog them.
- Make sure hallways and passageways between rooms and other heavy traffic areas are well lit.
- Keep exits and passageways clear of obstructions or clutter.
- Furnish chairs/sofas that can safely get up/down.
- Provide auto raising lift chair to assist getting up when necessary.
- Adapt seating with additional firm cushions to raise seat.
- Install key locked windows if necessary.
- Make sure senior is capable of operating all electrical components including television, stereo, telephone, lights, etc.
- Secure loose and hanging telephone and electrical cords and tuck them under carpeting and furniture and do not run cords across walkways.
- Remove rugs and runners that tend to slide.
- Use rugs or runners with slip-resistant backing.
- Apply double-faced adhesive carpet tape or rubber matting to the backs of rugs and runners.
- Repair and re-glue damaged sheet or ceramic flooring to smoothen bumps.
- Attach carpet stair treads securely.
- Remove glass topped tables or move them away from traffic areas.
- Maintain and regularly check to make sure appliances are in working order.
- Ascertain ability to manipulate sink faucets with hot water temperature settings reduced.
- Make sure electrical/appliance cords are not dangling near water or stove areas.
- Ascertain ability to open/close refrigerator/freezer/stove door/ and cabinets.
- Ascertain ability to reach dishes, pots, utensils, and outlets.
- Store sharp objects safely away.
- Keep flammables away from the stove area.
- Wear short or close-fitting sleeves while cooking.
- Make sure kitchen ventilation systems or range exhausts are functioning properly.
- Remove small non-food items that could be swallowed.
- Cover stove burners, remove knobs/shut-off valves/ and install auto-pilots when needed.
- Unplug or put away kitchen appliances not in use.
- Disconnect or camouflage garbage disposals.
- Ensure even lighting exist over the stove, sink and countertop work areas to avoid burns or cuts.
- If a step stool is necessary, choose one with a handrail that you can hold onto while standing on the top step. Make sure step stool is stable and in good condition.
- Locate bedroom near bathroom or furnish bedside commode.
- Use night-lights to provide nighttime orientation and visibility.
- Ensure safe transfer in/out bed and remove bed frame if bed is too high.
- Rent or purchase a hospital bed if needed.
- Supply bumpers or padding to surround bed if needed.
- Install reverse locks on doors when needed.
- Use monitor to listen to activity especially at night.
- Remove carpeting if incontinence becomes a problem.
- Install room darkening blinds or shades when needed.
- Make sure that the phone and light is accessible from bed.
- Make sure that clothes in the closet/dresser are reachable.
- Use flame-retardant mattresses, pillows, and sheets and plan procedure for fire evacuation.
- Remove sources of heat or flame from areas around beds.
- DO NOT smoke in bed.
- DO NOT “tuck in” electric blankets or place additional coverings on top of it. This can cause excessive heat which can start a fire.
- DO NOT go to sleep with a heating pad if it is turned on.
- Take special care with wet floors.
Bathtubs and Shower Areas:
- Install at least 1 (preferably 2) grab bars in tub and/or shower area.
- Check existing bars for strength and stability, and repair if necessary.
- Attach grab bars, through the tile, to structural supports in the wall, or install bars specifically designed to attach to the sides of the bathtub. Get a qualified professional to install if necessary.
- Remove any slippery rugs and/or use non-skid mats in the tub or shower, and on the bathroom floor.
- Apply textured strips on the floors of the tubs or showers.
- Use a stool with non-skid tips as a seat while showering or bathing, if you are unsteady on your feet.
- Install hand held shower nozzle.
- Replace glass shower doors with unbreakable plastic.
- Install grab bars, safety frame, and/or raised seat with armrests on or near toilet.
- Remove and/or replace bathroom accessories and decors that are breakable (i.e. cup and soap holders, drinking glasses, etc.).
- Lock up razor blades, sharp objects, and store away electrical devices.
- Make certain that light switches, outlets and toilet paper are always accessible.
- Install a night light or consider replacing the existing switch with a “glow switch”.
- Water temperature should be 120 degrees or lower.
- Always check water temperature by hand before entering bath or shower.
- Taking baths, rather than showers, reduce the risk of scald from sudden water temperature change.
- Store all prescription and over the counter medications safely away and clearly labeled.
- Dispose of outdated medicines properly.
Stairways (if there are stairs)
- Provide adequate lighting and ensure steps are free of clutter.
- Light switches should be located at both the top and bottom of the stairs.
- Install sturdy handrails along both sides of the stairway. If necessary, install handrails that run continuously from the top to the bottom of the entire flight of stairs.
- Replace worn treads or loose carpeting on the stairs.
- Avoid deep pile carpeting or patterned and dark colored carpeting that can make it difficult to see the edges of the steps clearly.
- Repair, remove or replace worn and torn stair coverings on the steps.
- Paint outdoor steps with paint that has a rough texture, or use abrasive strips. Replace outdoor stairs with ramps.
- Paint edges of outdoor steps white to see them better at night.
- Widen treads or shorten risers if necessary.
- Put reflector tape on edge of treads to see edge of steps clearly.
- Install barriers or gates at stairs if necessary.
We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior that could benefit from our vast array of home care services, please call us at 212-614-8057 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We accept all types of long term care insurance as payment
Christian and Claudia