Home Safety Month Tips For Seniors

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EAST BRUNSWICK–June is “Home Safety Month,” an opportunity to educate and empower older adults and their families to take action and increase the safety of their homes. The aging population can continue to live safely and independently in their homes by implementing fall prevention and fire safety habits.

“No one wants to think about being injured at home as it is a safe haven for many of us,” said Beth Sholom, owner of Right at Home of CNJ, LLC. “Thankfully there are many simple actions you can take to help save lives and prevent injuries. Right at Home is available to help older adults and their loved ones identify and correct household hazards that can lead to slips, falls and other dangers.”

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For many older adults, falls can be a life-changing event leading to less mobility, independence and even death. According to the Home Safety Council, an average of nearly 5,000 Americans age 65 and older die from fall-related injuries in their homes each year.  Right at Home offers free in-home assessments that include a safety check walk-through of a senior’s home to identify potential fall hazards and other safety ideas.

The Home Safety Council also offers the following tips for fall prevention:

o Install handrails on both sides of the stairs and ensure they go from the top to the bottom.
o Tape small rugs to the floor or do not use them at all as they can be a tripping hazard.
o Have plenty of lights at the top and bottom of the stairs and be sure to keep them clear of debris.
o Place night lights in the bedroom, hallway and bathroom.
o Lay a mat or non-slip strips in the tub and shower and have grab bars installed.

Older adults and their families are also encouraged to prepare for fire emergencies. Older adults are twice as likely to suffer injuries or lose their lives in a fire than the general population, according to the Home Safety Council. The Home Safety Council also offers the following tips for fire safety:

* Make sure there is a least one working fire alarm on each level of the home, located inside or near sleeping areas.

o Create a home escape plan and practice it at least twice a year. Move the bedroom to the first floor to escape outside quickly in case of a fire.
o Keep escape routes clear and make sure doors and windows open easily.
o Keep a phone in the bedroom to call for help if necessary.
o Always stay in the kitchen when food is cooking on the stove and avoid loose clothing while cooking.
o Smokers should use large, deep ashtrays on a sturdy table and stay alert while smoking.
o Plug only one cord into each electrical outlet and unplug appliances when not in use.

“Taking many of these simple safety steps can help to keep older adults living safely and independently in their own homes,” Sholom said. “We know that living independently has many benefits and we are privileged to help older adults maintain their independence and enjoy a full life.”


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