The number of older adults living either independently or with their children is on the rise. Let’s face it, we don’t always hear the greatest stories about putting our parents in nursing homes and after all, we want them to enjoy the back-end of their lives, right? Well, it’s important to make sure they’re safe at home, whether it’s your home or theirs, so here’s what you need to keep in mind in order to provide them with a safe and secure living environment:
Add Safety Features
One of the most common forms of home injury when it comes to the aging and the elderly, aside from falls, stems as a result of electrical outlets and electronic devices. Not only should we be making sure electrical outlets are out of a child’s reach, it may be worthwhile to do the same for older adults. Raising outlets so that they’re located higher up on walls is a great way to reduce the risk of injury.
Aside from electrical shocks and burns, another major hazard in homes can be found in the kitchen. Gas stoves with open flames can easily catch things on fire, especially for those who aren’t able to pay close attention to what they are cooking. Scarves, sleeves and other flammable devices can quickly catch fire and lead to major disasters. The solution? Flameless cooktops. Electric stoves tend to reduce the risk of fires as there is no open flame associated with the appliance.
Additional Safety Measures:
- Use tape or rubber mats underneath area rugs so that they don’t move or cause a tripping hazard when walked on.
- Add lighting to hallways, stairways and pathways whether it’s in the form of wall fixtures, ceiling fixtures, or plug-in night lights.
- Install grab bars (especially in the bathroom) as well as railings and handles wherever there are steps in the home.
- Make sure all wiring and electrical panels are up-to-date and up-to-code.
- Never run wires through doorways or under carpets or rugs.
- Replace appliances with worn or damaged electrical cords.
- Avoid plugging appliances, large or small, into extension cords.
- Have smoke detectors installed on every floor of the house and remember to replace the batteries twice a year.
- Keep portable heaters, and any other source of heat, at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
- Don’t use a stove, oven or grill to heat the house, especially if they operate on natural gas or propane.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors near all bedrooms and on each level of the house.
- Utilize large format smart thermostats to stay comfortable and keep energy bills under control
- Invest in keyless entry systems for each entry door to the house. This will reduce time spent looking for and fumbling with physical keys.
- Consider having an elevator installed for those who are mobility impaired.
- Put interior and exterior lights on timers and incorporate smart lighting controls and dimmer switches.
GEN3 is Your Friendly Neighborhood Home Expert. We provide electrical and HVAC maintenance and repairs in order to help homeowners protect their investment. We also specialize in making homes safer for older adults, especially when it comes to comfort and electrical services. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 215-512-4102.