Due to the growing number of older adults living independently, it is a must to make sure that you or your loved ones are aware of the potential dangers that you may face such as falls, burns, poisonings, burglary, etc. and prep your home accordingly.
If you live alone or have a loved one who does, here’s a list of what you should do to prevent accidents and ensure safety at all times.
Make a list of emergency numbers and put it in the different areas of the house – a list beside each phone, on your bed side, the kitchen, the fridge even the garage. Make the text size large enough so you could read it easily even if you are anxious and in a hurry. On your list make sure to include: 911, your healthcare providers’ numbers, police department, poison control, numbers of family members and friends to call in case of emergency.
Burglars are most likely to target the homes of those living alone, especially older adults. So protect your home against burglars by installing a home security system that will alert you in case someone breaks in. Keep your windows and doors locked at all times and never let a stranger come into your home when you are alone. Also, if you are into social media, don’t announce that you are away for a vacation because this will attract robbers into targeting your home.
Make sure that you know at least two ways to get out of your home in cases of fire. Don’t try to put it out, just leave and call 911. Make sure that your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are properly working by using the “test” feature and replacing the batteries twice a year. Have smoke detectors installed in your kitchen area, bedroom, hallways and a fire extinguisher that is easily accessible.
Have bath aids installed such as grab bars for the shower, assistance rails around the toilet, nonslip step aid for getting in and out of the bath tub and an anti-slip suction bath mat for your shower and tub. Make sure to keep your bathroom lights on during the night too. For your water temperature, set your heater at 120 F to prevent scalding.
Organize all your medications in one area with good lighting and make sure they are labeled clearly and properly. Dispose old or expired medications and review with your healthcare providers frequently when you take new medications. When in doubt, never hesitate to ask your doctor.