Solutions For Keeping Aging Loved Ones Safe In Their Homes

As National Safety Month approaches, solutions for keeping aging loved ones safe in their homes.

According to the CentersBrightStar Care - Earned It - Eagle Scout for Disease Control, one out of three older adults, aged 65 or older, falls each year but less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it. June is National Safety Month, and BrightStar Care seeks to educate families on how to identify household hazards that can lead to injuries and how to make simple changes in their homes that can decrease the likelihood of their aging loved ones falling victim.
As people age, their risk and fear of falling increases, and, as a result, they tend to self-limit activities and social engagements, which can lead to further physical decline, depression, social isolation, and feelings of helplessness. In addition, when a fall occurs, the average hospital stay is almost twice as long for fall victims than other ailments.
On the heels of an initiative to educate family caregivers on how to identify a healthcare agency that is held to the highest standards possible, BrightStar Care is helping families make sure each major area of the home is safe for their aging loved one.
Sharon Roth Maguire, MS, RN, GNP-BC, Chief Clinical Quality Officer of BrightStar Care, offers the following checklist to make each major area of the home safe for seniors:
Kitchen
  • Store sharp knives and other utensils in a rack.
  • Mark “on” and “off” positions on appliances clearly and with bright colors.
  • Switch out food regularly (check expiration dates).
  • Ensure that your loved one avoids wearing loose, long-hanging clothing when cooking over the stove.
Bathroom
  • Install grab bars next to the toilet and in the tub or shower.
  • Use non-slip mats in the bathtub or shower floor.
  • Clearly label cold and hot faucets.
Bedroom
  • Keep a nightlight illuminated in the room.
  • Make sure there is a nightstand next to the bed with a lamp, telephone, clock and additional space for any other important items (such as medications).
General safety/outside
  • Periodically check and change smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Front and back doors should have strong, bolted locks and a peephole.
  • Stairways should be free of objects and handrails should be sturdy.
  • Garage door is easy to operate
  • All extension cords and wires should be out of the path of foot traffic and not plugged in to too many electronics.
Check out these additional home safety resources from BrightStar Care:
Visit our website for additional information at:  www.brightstarcare.com/eastvalley