Six great tips to help make your home more safe for a loved one.
Safety around home can be overlooked from time to time. Here are six tips to help make your home safer for a loved one. Find out more below!
TIP #1: HAVE A LIST OF CONTACT NUMBERS
As we age, remembering phone numbers can become harder than usual. Display key contact numbers in a large font where they can be referred to easily in the home. We suggest the following numbers:
- Your phone number
- The emergency services
- Family members
- Poison control New Zealand (0800 764 766)
- Healthline (0800 611 116)
TIP #2: ELIMINATE POTENTIAL FIRE HAZARDS
Remove any open flame heaters or candles. This will reduce the risk of them being left unattended and potentially causing a fire.
Check for any overloaded power points. Examples of this include having one plug socket attached to the toaster, fridge, microwave and jug.
Install a fire alarm this is the only warning system most people have when they are sleeping. In some cases elderly people can have impaired hearing, so this will provide a loud warning so they can exit the building in the worst-case scenario.
TIP #3: REDUCE TRIP AND FALL HAZARDS
Look for any cables that are crossing doorways or walkways as your loved one could catch and trip on these. Use tape to fasten them to the floor or around the trimming of the door if you can’t remove them.
Install grab bars in the bathroom and outside where applicable. This will provide support to your loved one when bending or heading up stairs/slopes.
Install non-slip pads around the house especially in the bathroom. This will help reduce the risk of having an accident on a wet or slippery floor.
Install a raised seat on the toilet. This will make going to the bathroom for your loved one easier. It gives the user more height when sitting, meaning they will not have to bend over as far. It also helps the user get up more easily as they get better leveraging.
Install a toilet safety frame. This assists the user to get up and sit down on the toilet. This product is great for reducing falls as it provides extra bars to grab onto.
TIP #4: Secure the home against thieves
- Install reliable locks on all windows and doors.
- Install security lights
- Get to know your neighbours so they can keep an eye on the house.
- Install security cameras
TIP #5: PROVIDE ASSISTIVE AIDS IN THE BEDROOM
Installing an overbed pole you will assist your loved one getting in and out of bed, reducing the potential for unwanted falls.
Find a suitable bed. Installing a electric bed will help assist with sitting up in bed, as well as getting in and out of bed. If your loved one is experiencing signs of dementia or is prone to falling out of the bed then the low floor electric bed will be suitable to help prevent any unwanted falls.
Install side bars onto the bed. The added height and bars provide will help prevent any falls that may happen in bed at night, reducing chances of injury.
As we age our skin tends to be thinner and more sensitive, this results in increased cuts and abrasions from simply brushing against materials and surfaces. Installing cotton sheets makes any contact with the bed sheets more desirable.
TIP #6: PROVIDE ASSISTIVE AIDS IN THE LIVING ROOM
Find a suitable electric lift chair. This will help your loved one enter and exit their chair with ease as they lift and drop to a suitable height. This will reduce stress and strain on their backs and reduce falls, making watching TV a more enjoyable experience for them.