Although our homes have always been safe and familiar places, they can still present a number of hazards and safety risks, particularly for the elderly. According to statistics, massive amounts of adults over the age of 65 are treated in emergency rooms for injuries sustained in their own homes.
Accident Prevention Through Risk Awareness
Teman Malaysia is aware of the unique dangers that seniors face at home, as well as the precautions that can be taken to mitigate these dangers. Our Texas in-home care providers make it a priority to ensure the safety of the homes in which we work, as well as to assist patients and their families in understanding some of the most pressing hazards so that they can address them and start making their homes safer.
Seniors' Most Common At-Home Safety Risks
Falls are the leading cause of harm among seniors 65 and older, and most of them occur in the person’s own home. According to the National Safety Council, nearly one-third of seniors have a fall-related accident every year, with 70% of these falls occurring at home. Because falls are the leading cause of death in the senior population, older adults must take extra precautions to account for physical changes associated with ageing, such as deteriorating vision and hearing bone density loss, balance issues, and more. You can take the following precautions:
- Tripping hazards including such clutter, small furniture pieces, wires, carpets, and frayed carpet should be removed or taped down.
- Rearranging furniture to create enough walking space throughout all areas
- Make certain that all areas of the house are well lit.
- Balance and strength can be improved through exercise and physical therapy.
- On smooth surfaces, wear nonslip footwear always and clean up spillages as soon as they occur.
- Instead of clinging to furniture or walls, always use a cane or walker.
- Install stabilisation bars in showers and near toilets, as well as rubber mats in showers and on bathroom floors, to make bathrooms safer.
- Consider wearing a special alarm wristband or necklace to alert medical personnel in the case of emergency, particularly if falls have occurred previously.
Fires are a danger in any home, but they are especially dangerous in homes in which seniors may needs the usage of oxygen. To reduce the risk of a fire, always keep fresh batteries in smoke detectors, never leave candles or fires burning in an empty room, avoid open fires or smoking near oxygen tanks, check appliances for torn wires, and maintain a minimum of three feet of space between heating systems and anything that may burn, such as clothes, furniture, or drapery.
Accidental poisoning can occur in a variety of ways, and it is especially dangerous for seniors who may be taking a variety of medications. Install carbon monoxide detectors near all bedrooms to avoid poisoning risks, don’t ever heat a household with a stove or oven, avoid mixing cleaning supplies like bleach or ammonia, keep medications organised and labelled in their original packaging, take medications in a well-lighted room to read the labels, and making sure that medications are used as directed.
Abuse and Crime
Even in their own home, seniors can be vulnerable targets for wrongdoers with bad intentions. Protect the home by installing locks on doors and windows and never allowing random people into the household, particularly when a senior is alone. Families can also speak with their loved one to ensure that they understand common cases of fraud that target the elderly and that they discuss any “offers” or “prizes” they may have discussed over phone or in e-mail, or when a senior starts to feel forced into making purchases or signing a contract.
Seniors are prone to the risks of injuries caused by consumer products and end up in the hospital emergency room. Make sure all household items are safe and up to date, look for product recalls, and fix any problems with items that can frequently lead to injuries, such as stairs, ramps, floors, furniture, step stools, ladders, fitness equipment, bathrooms and showers, desks and shelving, and clothing, among others, in order to lower the risk of injuries brought on by consumer products.