Friday, October 15, 2010

Safety for Elderly in their Homes

Ensuring Safety for Care in the Home for Seniors
In San Antonio, Texas

Home is one place where you will expect things to never go wrong, where you can relax and forget about the peril that is the outside world; however that is barely the case, according to CPSC as many as 1.4 million persons over the age of 65 years are treated in hospitals because of home related injuries, particularly those resulting from the usage (or misusage) of consumer products every year. This is indeed a startling figure and if have elderly people, such as your parents or grand-parents living in your house. Here is what you absolutely need to ensure in your house so that they, and you, yourself may live safely.
a. Install a Smoke Alarm in your home – For elderly individuals you may want to install alarms in more rooms as it may take longer for a senior to leave the home and the senior living at home may have more difficulty hearing: One should be installed per floor of the house and a carbon monoxide detector in every bedroom. Carbon Monoxide is called the silent killer and indeed many deaths are reported every year because of either a lack of detection equipment or malfunctioning unit. Also make sure to change their batteries regularly.
b. Make sure wire-extensions are out of the way in the home: This is in fact a leading cause of serious injuries, particularly to the elderly living at home or a facility because wires lying on the floor are almost invisible and can easily trip anyone. Double check that all lamp wires and extension boards are safely hidden away from the walkways of your house.
c. Do not overload extension boards at home: This can easily cause a spark out leading to a fire. When using extension boards at home, make sure that the number of appliances used does not exceed the total wattage that can be supported by the board, a standard 18 gauge extension board can handle up to 1250 watts. If at all it becomes necessary to use an appliance with a higher requirement, then unplug some of the other ones for the time being.
d. Look out for cords running under furniture at home: If an electric cord is pressed down by a piece of furniture then chances are that it can crack leading to potentially lethal electric shocks or even fires. Seniors may also not see items in their home. Also check the condition of all the cords in your home frequently to ensure that there are no cracks, or naked wires around.
e. Replace any rug or mat in the home which can be slippery: While slippery mats are staple comedy on TV, they can lead to potential life threatening situations especially for the elderly in real life. Either use rugs and mats with a rubber matting. Separate Rubber matting can also be purchased. For carpets, double faced carpet tape works best.
f. Check the electric outlets at home: Make sure that electric sockets are not always turned on and not warm when you touch they, if they are, get them replaced. Senior family members living at home may need someone to check this for them on a regular basis.
g. Have emergency numbers pasted near your phone at home: In times of sudden crisis, people tend to forget, in such a case it will help if you already have emergency numbers in place near the phone at all times.
These are only some of the examples and you should exercise as much caution as possible in order to ensure safety both for yourself and the seniors in your house. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has a Safety for Older Consumers Home Safety Checklist that can be ordered by calling 1-800-638-2772 and it will be sent to your home.