Protecting Seniors From Common Household Hazards

Posted on March 28, 2013

As we age, common hazards scattered throughout the home that we never thought about before begin to showcase their ability to cause an injury.  What used to not seem like a big deal can be the impetus for a serious calamity that requires extensive medical care.  To make sure that your home doesn’t pose any unnecessary risks, a new report offers some important tips.

The entire house should be clear of the sorts of things that could cause somebody to trip and suffer an injury.  Cords of all types should be pushed toward the walls and away from walking lanes, and you should seriously consider whether it might be time to get rid of throw rugs.  If you want to hold onto such things, use double-sided tape to prevent bunching that can easily lead to tripping.  And place furniture in a place where it won’t trip up anyone.

Especial attention should be paid to stairways.  Homeowners can invest in rubber treads that can prevent a person from slipping and falling down the stairs.  An individual concerned about tripping should keep ahold of the handrail at all times, and preparations should also be made to increase lighting along the stairs.

Nonslip rubber isn’t only a good idea on the stairs, it’s a good idea in the shower.  This, combined with a grab bar, enables one to reduce the chances of falling drastically.  A night light should be placed in the bathroom for those times when you have to enter in the middle of the night, and the path from your bed to the bathroom should be clear.

Safety should extend to the environment immediately surrounding your house.  The walkup to the front door should be well-lit, either with a light that activates when motion is detected or a bulb that’s on a timer.  And the address should be easily discernible so that rescue workers arriving on scene during an emergency can spot the right residence.  When it comes to your yard, keep it free of debris like branches and stones, especially along paths leading to and around the doors of the home.  If one has to take stairs to get to either your back or front door, have bulbs that light the way or reflective tape that clearly outlines the shape of the stairs.

Finally, take additional precautions in the kitchen, as that room holds more hazards than perhaps anywhere else in the house.  Any surface that food is prepped needs to receive adequate lighting, as being able to distinctly see what you’re doing cuts down on the risk that you’ll lacerate or burn yourself.  And instead of placing knives haphazardly in a drawer, invest in a knife block so that you’re less likely to cut yourself when you reach for the utensil.

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