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Senior Safety Checklist

Senior man with walker
By spotting household dangers and taking simple steps to correct them, many senior injuries can be prevented.

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April 12, 2010

Each year, many older Americans are injured in and around their homes - often from hazards that are easily overlooked, but easy to prevent. By spotting these dangers and taking simple steps to correct them, many senior injuries can be prevented, and family caregivers can have extra peace of mind.

Below is a list of the top 10 safety issues commonly witnessed by Home Instead Senior Care professional caregivers in thousands of senior homes around North America:

  1. Loose area rugs/tripping hazards
  2. No "life alert" or other pendant emergency-alert system
  3. Spoiled food in the refrigerator
  4. Lack of safety bar in bathtub/shower
  5. Shower within tub/ No walk-in shower
  6. Lots of clutter/furniture make mobility difficult
  7. Steep steps
  8. Low supply of food
  9. Poor lighting
  10. No telephone near the bed

Family caregivers should walk through their relative's home to make sure none of these hazards are present, and work with the senior to make he or she feels safe, depending depend on the type of physical limitations this person has and how severe they are. Acquiring the necessary assistance, such as non-medical home care and safety-proofing your loved one's home, will put all family members at ease.

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. September 7, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Posted by Libby

    I will be 75 late Nov. I am alone(divorced) and still got it all together mentally. I go to the VA for my health care and I am a retired RN so I know that preparing your self for old age is a must if you want to stay active. I live in a regular apartment( down stairs) with a smallgated yard.I am having a balance problem so the VA ( I was in the WACS) has issued me a good walker,bathmat and chair with a handrail for the tub. I removed all loose rugs, checked that my bed has a phone next to it,and is accessable to a stretcher, Another thing I am doing is getting a lockbox with a code on it to place my spare key in . It hang on the door so that 24/7 there is a key for EMS to get into my house.I place my can good within reach,double check that I have turned off my stove,toaster or oven when I use it.I put all my dishes in the dishwasher for a good hot wash and make my self notes to remind me of important things. I gave up my car so the united supermarket has a free bus/van pick me up every tues. to do my shopping and delivers me right to my door. I read,watch TV,sew, work on my computer(yes I am sort of a geek) and do my house work and laundry in small segments,I am slowly getting rid of the clutter and thing that I don't use anymore, no body is going to hold inspection. It is a matter of preparing for that time that I may need someone to assist me. I am happy that I can get up evey morning and do these things now. but I know there may be a time that I can't do for myself.Hopefully the VA will be able to get a helper in to do my meals and assist me will getting into the tub. I want to do for myself as much as I can. I don't demand much out of life and I am thankful that I can function. I enjoy people,but I sort of like my quit time too. These years are golden and laughter makes them 24c. I enjoy a good laugh and yes I can laugh at myself first.

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  2. September 7, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Posted by Steven Weaver

    I'd LOVE to help your clients! My business is all about making homes accessible in a way that provides them dignity, opportunity, and respect. My daughter--born with Cerebral Palsy--opened my eyes to the need to provide an understanding, caring service in this regard. As the only General Contractor in Northern California that has the training, personal experience, and caring, to say nothing of a vast array of equipment that is aesthetically pleasing AND safe, I believe I can help your clients age in place with dignity. In fact, I now have grab bars that don't look anything like a grab bar, making the acceptance of them far greater than hose of yesteryear. One thing missing from your list above is a good looking set of handrails down the hall. Since falls are the #1 killer of seniors, it'd be better to have something to help guide them down the hallway safely during the day and at night. And, yes, I happen to have access to very aesthetically-pleasing handrails that are not at all like a stair handrail, but more like a work of art that gives them something to stabilize while walking. Please feel free to contact me for more information about the products and services I offer. I'm already working with one of your clients and the opportunity to work with more would be an honor. Sincerely, Steven Weaver, Owner EASE--Eagle Accessibility Solutions & Equipment 530-820-9114 Home Base: Auburn, serving the greater Sacramento area

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  3. September 2, 2010 at 9:37 am | Posted by Rita Matthews

    I am widowed 3 years and lonely. I have found much happiness by joining a ukulele band. Ukuleles are easy to learn and our band has a lot of fun together doing gigs and even practicing is fun. But I am still very lonely and crave more relationships, social functions and friends.

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  4. August 31, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Posted by Linda Ades

    I just helped a friend move into SENIOR living..... Her biggest problem is she wants things done right now.....WE all love her, but her impatience gets to many other residence. I really thinned my house out before I moved and I am still seeing things I have never used..... It is hard to thin down.... Hoping that living where one meal a day is served is a big reason why we have many 80-90 year old people here .. Lots of "500" being played and coffee cups refilled. So glad I am here.... Look for senior living friends. gets played and

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  5. August 29, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Posted by Maria Antonieta Ros Gascons

    I am still active teaching three times a week at a university.I am already retired. I am selling my house to accomodate to a one story one or an apartment. As I am a handsome and sensible widow of 69, I would like to begin making male acquaintances, in order to search for the right one for me to live with, he has to be optimistic, energetic enough to walk, do yoga or exercise of some kind. I prefer tranquile life style, movies, teather, warm climate.A small city to live and move around. I love nature,music,tenderness and honesty.Similar or higher echonomical status.

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  6. August 27, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Posted by Frances Beers

    This is all fine and dandy if you can afford it; but what if you can't? Seriously, I really need some suggestions. What are we going to do when we can't drive anymore or can't take care of ourselves or one another? Our children all live far away and all have their plates full with their own problems. My husband is 88 and I'm 86. Right now we are both in pretty good health; but at our age it can't be very long (years?) in the future when we are going to be pretty helpless. We live in a very small town and neighbors hardly know one another anymore. Homes aren't selling at all; so we don't have that option.

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  7. August 26, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Posted by Thelma V Cox

    In 2000 my husband had major heart surgery with very slow recovery. We had our own home where we planned to live out our lives. Because I could not properly care for our home with his disablement we chose to move to a Senior Care Home. THE BEST DECISION WE EVER MADE! We have lived here over nine years and still love it. Husband has fully reovered and even works part-time. Our children are happy with us being here so they know we are cared for. It takes the worry off their minds!

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