Checklist to make your home Elder Friendly - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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Checklist to make your home Elder Friendly

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This safety checklist is to help older people and their families create a safe and secure environment for them to continue living on their own.

Many elders are impacted by diminished vision, mobility and other disabilities.  This checklist is printable allowing you to review the needs for your home situation.

 

General Household Suggestions

Have a list of phone numbers to call in case of emergency.  Make sure it is near the phone

Check electrical cords and replace ones showing wear and tear.

 

Install adequate electrical outlets to prevent overloading. Avoid multiple extension cords or cords stretched across open pathways or doors.

 

Use non-skid wax on uncarpeted floors

 

Use rubber-backed throw rugs

 

Use strong and/or even lighting through the house or apartment

 

Be sure that doors can be unlocked from outside in case of emergency.  This is important in bathroom and bedroom

Bedroom:

Sturdy lamp near bed or place bed next to light switch

Make sure there is a study nightstand next to bed so items such as glasses at within easy reach

 

Place a phone near the bed for easy access

 

Keep a clear pathway around the bed, to the door, and bathroom

 

Place a nightlight so the person is not disoriented and can find their way to the bathroom or any other place needed during the night.

 

Remove casters from furniture so items don't shift causing the person to lose his/her balance.

 

Place grabbars in hallways or strategically place heavy furniture so the person can steady him/herself while moving through the room.

 

Use a hotwater bottle for heat.  Avoid heating pads or electric blankets. Often elders become less sensitive to the heat resulting in overheating or being burned.

 

If a smoker, arrange for a specifice, safe place in the house where smoking is allowed. Discourage smoking in bed.

 

Make and practice an evacuation plan in case of fire or other emergency

 

Make sure bed height is adjusted for easy access 

 

Make sure that storage is low enough or high enough for easy accessibility

 

Put smoke detectors and fire extinguishers throughout house/apt. and check annually.

Bathroom

Install grab bars by toilet, tub/shower. 

 

Wipe up spills from shower or tub immediately or carpet the entire bathroom to avoid falls

 

Use shower seat and shower hose if unable to stand safely while showering

 

Check and set water heater thermostat to ensure that water temperature is not too hot.  

 

Avoid use of electrical equipment, if possible.  Water contact with electrical could cause shock or electrocution

 

Avoid using bath oil in the tub or shower

 

Stairs, Path & Garden

Place bright colored non-skid strips on the edge of steps to prevent falls

 

See that stairways, hallways, indoor and outdoor pathways are brightly and evenly lit.

 

Remove protruding objects like coat hooks, shelves, etc. from stairways or path.

 

Make needed repairs on steps and path so there are no holes, cracks or splinters

 

Use smooth by slip-resistant hand rails. 

Source:  Office on aging

 

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