As healthcare improves the number of elderly people living independently is increasing so safety at home is a growing priority. Simple precautions, which cost little or nothing and are easy to implement can greatly
improve home safety. Here are five basic measures designed to reduce the hazards in your home environment.
Reduce trip and fall risks
It’s a distressing fact that six people over 65 suffer a fall every minute. As around half of these occur at home, it’s a good idea to take a look around and see what can be done to lessen the risk. Trip hazards such
as rugs, trailing cables, loose footwear and clutter on the floor are all easily eliminated. Adaptations to make mobility easier, such as extra stair rails or a stair lift, additional lighting, and support bars in the bathroom are
well worth considering. Further information about preventing falls can be found here:
Let yourself be heard
Personal alarms, intercoms and other alert systems are an excellent confidence booster. Knowing that help is just a call or the push of a button away is hugely reassuring for those who may be feeling insecure due to
being alone or are concerned about falling. Such devices can be used to alert the emergency services, specialist security companies or anyone you can trust to respond to your call.
Check your locks
Make sure that you have locks on all doors and windows and that these are maintained in good working condition. Additionally, someone you trust should have a spare key in their possession so that they can gain
access if they think there’s a problem. Don’t unlock if you have the slightest suspicion that your caller might be bogus or threatening.
Watch out for fire hazards
Have smoke detectors installed and take particular care when cooking or when using electrical devices. Ensure you have a fire plan and rehearse it. Then, should the worst happen, you will know your escape route well and be able to think coolly and clearly in an emergency. Your local fire service will be pleased to provide a home visit to advise you.
Keeping your mind and body as well exercised and active as possible has a number of benefits. The increased strength, balance and flexibility will help to prevent accidents. It increases bone density and restricts the development of osteoporosis. It also improves your mood and makes you feel more positive, and that can only be a good thing. Further information about the benefits of regular exercise and how to get started can be found here: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/activities-for-the-elderly.aspx
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