August 7, 2018 Jeff Conner of Pacific Mobility
The best way to enhance safety around the home is to take a thorough and critical look around your surroundings. Be realistic about your current needs and implement tips that help make your home safe, free from some inherent hazards that could cause problems.
Is your home as safe as it could be? There are small ways, tips, and tricks to help make your home – or the home of someone you love – a much safer and worry-free environment. If you have other distinct safety concerns, consult with mobility professionals for additional solutions to the challenges of everyday living.
Take stock of your surroundings and use these tips to help make your home safe:
Keep track of your keys. Make sure that you keep track of keys to prevent unauthorized access to your home. Also, don’t ever leave an emergency key outside; criminals and predators know where to look.
Keep things illuminated. One of the biggest reason people fall is due to poor lighting. Eliminate the potential of a problem by investing in the right lighting for your home’s spaces. This may involve a combination of ambient, task, and accent light fixtures, both indoor and out.
Go for the grab-bars. Do yourself a favor and get grab bars for the bathroom. It is advised that you place these near the fixtures, tub, toilet, and sink, as well as near the door, depending on the layout of your bathroom.
Clean up your clutter. Don’t trip and fall over your own stuff! Make your home safer by de-cluttering and keeping items cleaned up and out of the way.
Compartmentalize to one level. Compartmentalize living to one level, if possible, to prevent trips up and down stairs. This may be a temporary approach during rehabilitation or a more permanent solution to autonomous living.
Walk the floors. Walk around your home and take a good look at the floors; remove tripping hazards like rugs or thresholds.
Make stairs safer. Make sure that there are treads and rails on and near all steps and stairs.
Reconfigure your kitchen cabinets. Reorganize the kitchen to keep regularly used items close by; invest in a reaching tool for occasional access to overhead or tall storage spaces. Consider using lazy-Susan style inserts to keep items close and accessible when cooking and dining, and to optimize lower cabinet storage space.
Avoid incidents in the bathroom. Trips to the bathroom at night can be a cause of injury and accident. Make the home safer by investing in bath or shower seats and a portable potty near the bed.
Keep an open line of communication. Keep in touch with a cell phone or life alert system that goes where you go. This can also be life-saving for falls or accidents when living alone.
Service your appliances regularly. Make an appointment to service your appliances twice a year to ensure they are in proper working order. This includes things like air conditioning units, furnaces, your refrigerator, and hot water heater. Mark it down on the calendar to serve as a reminder.
Let someone open the door for you. Let the door be opened for you with automatic openers for the doors to your home or garage. This is also a prudent measure for those utilizing mobility devices, like scooters or wheelchairs.
Maintain your exteriors, too. Maintain your outside areas in all seasons. Plan to deal with snow or ice, as well as lawncare and paving to ensure your exteriors are up to par and safe. Ask around and hire someone to do this regularly for you.
Detect an issue. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors routinely. Plan to replace detectors every ten years. Also, keep a fire extinguisher on hand in the kitchen.
Lock your vehicle. Always keep your vehicles locked even when parked outside your door. It goes without saying that this extends to your home’s doors as well.
Keep valuables tucked away. Never keep valuables in plain view, where people can see them. This includes in your car or on a kitchen counter, where it could be a temptation for those with ill-intent.
Watch what you wear. Watch what you wear around the house; for instance, don’t wear stockings around the house as they can be slippery. Wear sensible footwear inside and out to avoid a fall and to keep you comfortable. Also, loose clothing can also cause issues and accidents in the home, especially when cooking.
Talk to the professionals for aids and devices to keep your surroundings safe:
Visit and speak with mobility aid professionals to determine your needs, and to accurately assess which mobility solution is right for you. Keeping the home safe is key to preserving the autonomy of those consumers with physical limitations or disabilities. These experts will be able to pinpoint the best equipment for your environment and buying-budget.
Don’t run the risk of an accident or injury; implement these safety tips and tricks to protect you and your loved ones from these inherent hazards of the home. Also, think about how mobility aids could foster autonomy and preserve independence for someone living with physical limitations or disabilities.