Home Safety Tips For Seniors

Summer is upon us now and with it comes warmer weather, longer days, and more time spent outside.  Summer brings to mind fond memories of picnics, traveling, and family gatherings.  While the longer days and summer activities are a lovely distraction, we must ever be mindful of safety factors in and around our home and surroundings.  Following are some useful tips to make your home safer and easier to navigate.

General Home Safety

  • consider a medical alert button.
  • keep a fire extinguisher handy as well as several working smoke detectors.
  • Always get up slowly after sitting or lying down, make sure you have your balance before starting to walk.
  • Wear proper fitting shoes with low heels.
  • Use a correctly measured/fitted walking aid.
  • Remove or secure all area rugs.
  • Remove all cords (telephone and electrical) from traffic areas.
  • Avoid slippery wax on floors.
  • Wipe up spills promptly

Avoid standing on ladders and chairs

  • Have sturdy rails installed for all stairs inside and outside.
  • Ensure that all stairways have good lighting as well as nonslip surfaces.

Bathroom safety

  • Leave a light on in your bathroom at night.
  • Have safety bars and other assistive devices installed in shower/bath area.
  • As with other area rugs, make sure bathroom rugs are nonslip and secure.
  • To avoid scalds, turn water heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below.  *Special faucets can be purchased that automatically keep water temperatures at a safe level.
  • Use door locks that can be opened from both sides.

Kitchen Safety

  • Keep kitchen floors clean and uncluttered.
  • keep work areas well illuminated.
  • Mark “on” and “off” on all electrical appliances.
  • Store sharp knives in an appropriate rack.
  • Store heavier items at waist level.
  • Avoid wearing long, loosefitting clothing while cooking over the stove.
  • Make sure food is rotated regularly and check expiration dates on perishable items.

Home Emergency Supply

The National Safety Council recommends that every home should have an emergency supply kit readily available in an easily accessible storage area.  These kits are meant to help you during an emergency situation as well as during the aftermath.  Home emergency kits should include:

  • Water
  • nonperishable food and a can opener
  • battery powered radio with extra batteries
  • A basic first aid kit
  • A basic tool kit with scissors
  • Hand sanitizer, moist towelettes and garbage bags
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape
  • A whistle
  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Copies of important family documents
  • Cash or credit card with available balance
  • Sleeping bag or warm blankets
  • Wooden stick matches in a waterproof container
  • Disposable cups, plates, utensils
  • Assorted zip lock bags and heavy duty aluminum foil
  • Paper and a pencil or marker
  • Books, games, puzzles

While these tips are not allinclusive, hopefully it is a place for you to start to have a safer home and more confidence in your surroundings.