As we get older, it becomes increasingly more important to be aware of our surroundings and any hidden dangers or threats that may exist. Agility and reflexes, as well as the ability to bounce back from an injury with ease, have a tendency to dissipate with age, even if our minds feel as young as ever. This means that it’s essential for anyone above a certain age, especially if living alone, to be careful. With that in mind, here are five home safety tips for retirees that will help eliminate the risk for accidents.
1. Watch your step.
This can be taken literally and figuratively. Yes, you should look down when you’re walking, especially down stairs or off of curbs to make sure you don’t misjudge a distance. But from a figurative sense, think about making your home safe to walk around in. Don’t use slippery waxes when you clean your floors. Tape rugs down so they won’t slide, and avoid having rugs at the tops and bottoms of stairs, when the risk is highest and your balance may be shifted. Put grips in your tub and on the stairs to avoid slipping and clean up any spills immediately.
2. Make things easier for your eyes.
Why strain your eyes and/or make assumptions about contents when you can just label things better? Avoid confusion and the risk of making an error by using large lettering and labels for anything that might be dangerous. This includes making sure your hot and cold faucets are clearly marked, your medication is easy to differentiate, and you can identify what you’re seeing. That also means using bright lighting throughout your house, especially the kitchen, bathroom, and garage. 100-watt bulbs will keep everything well-lit, making it easier to read ingredients, expiration dates, and more. And finally, clearly mark the on and off switches on appliances like your oven and stove, so you don’t have to guess if you’ve turned everything off appropriately.
3. Fire bad.
Just like Frankenstein’s monster, let’s try to avoid any fire hazards! If you’re a smoker, do not smoke in bed. The risk of falling asleep and having your sheets catch fire is higher than you think. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher and smoke alarm on every floor. If you use a kettle for tea or coffee, make sure it has an automatic shut-off, and the same goes for your clothes iron and curling iron. And finally, try not to wear big flowing clothes if you’ll be standing over the stove, especially if you cook with gas.
4. Be smart.
Make sure you keep any hazardous materials under the sink and away from food and drink. Check your expiration dates. If you need to reach something high, ask for help instead of getting a ladder. Don’t store anything heavy above waist level. Keep your knives and other sharp tools in blocks or drawers. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There’s nothing wrong with having a companion or a caregiver to come to your house on a regular basis to assist with cooking, cleaning, bathing, or help with your medication needs. Another pair of eyes, especially when they belong to a trained caregiver, might make the difference in peace of mind or a devastating injury.
Compassionate Care provides a wide range of services for retirees and seniors that include skilled nursing, companion, and caregiver services. Call us today at 561-244-5098 or 888-814-3778 to find out more about the different ways we can help you.