Follow these simple steps to make your home safe
Preventing tripping hazards
- Make sure all walkways and exits are clear of clutter and hazards. If needs be, rearrange furniture. Remember all power and extension cords should be well away from walking areas.
- Good lighting is critical, so ensure lights are well positioned; especially near stairs. Replace blown light bulbs and consider motion sensor lighting near the front and back door. Night lights or easily accessed bedside lamps are important for middle of the night visits to the toilet.
- Remove throw rugs and be sure to repair or replace worn or puckered carpets.
- Make steps easy to see by marking their edges with coloured tape.
- Be mindful of pets, as they often lie in high traffic areas.
- Ensure footwear is firm fitting and that clothing doesn’t drag on the ground.
- Put non slip mats on surfaces that can get wet, for example inside and outside the shower or front and back door.
- Keep outdoor paths maintained to minimise any cracks or raised edges.
Assisting with mobility
- Install ramps to make navigating steps easier, especially if a walker is used.
- Make handrails/grab rails a priority for the shower, stairs, beside the toilet and sometimes the bed.
- Use sturdy furniture as well as comfortable chairs that are easy to get in and out of.
- Consider a shower seat – they are great for preventing excessive tiring and for helping with balance.
- Be aware that baths are a significant hazard due to slippery surfaces and the effort required to get in and out. So if one is being used ensure there are at least two well positioned grab rails in place. A bath board with a long handled shower hose can prevent the need to be lowered in the bath.
- Consider a toilet seat raiser to increase the height of the toilet seat and make it easier to use.
In the case of an emergency
- Make phones easily accessible, with at least one on each level. A phone by the bed is an important safeguard.
- Display emergency numbers near the phone.
- Wear or make your loved one wear a personal alarm device or pendant (worn like a necklace) at all times while in the home and sometimes even the shower.
- Fit a Fire Extinguisher or Fire Blanket in the kitchen, with instructions on how it works.
- Ensure Smoke Detectors are installed, tested, and the battery is regularly checked.
- Be sure to give neighbours your contact details in case they notice changes in activity.
For more information or advice on Care at Home contact CareAbout on 1300 537 354.