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Home Safety Tips (General)

Summary:


Falls can lead to serious injuries especially for the elderly and the children. Hence, making the home a safer environment for all is important. Understanding how to make your house safer can help to prevent unnecessary falls and injuries to your loved ones.




Contents

Why is ensuring home safety important?

According to an article in Reader’s Digest, it mentioned that at least one-third of the elderly who are 65 years old in Singapore had a fall. Falls can lead to serious injuries especially for the elderly and the children. Some of the falls could result in hip fractures and head injuries, which may have a negative physical and psychological impact on the person. Hence, making the home a safer environment for all is important. It can help to promote your quality of life and enable you to lead a more independent lifestyle. Here are a few simple tips to make your home a safer place to live in.

Home Modifications

Living Room

  • Ensure electrical and telephone cords/wires are not obstructing the walkways by taping them securely to the sides of the room.
  • Arrange furniture to ensure a spacious walkway.
  • Use chairs of a comfortable height with back supports, armrests and firm cushions.
  • Ensure that the walkways are well lit.
  • Have a clear, uncluttered pathway.
  • Ensure carpet and rugs do not have folds or creases when placed on the floor. Either have them securely taped to the floor or do not use them at all.

Kitchen

  • Wipe up spills immediately and keep the floor dry.
  • Arrange all commonly used items within easy reach.
  • Put away all sharp objects and chemicals.
  • Appliance cords should be kept away from the sink or stove areas.
  • Avoid placing loose rugs or cloths on the floor.

Bedroom

  • Choose a bed of suitable height(at least of knee height) with a firm mattress.
  • Place a telephone at your bedside for emergency purposes.
  • Place a commode by the bedside if you visit the toilet frequently at night.

Toilet/Bathroom

  • Install grab-bars to assist you in getting up from the toilet seat and provide you with support when moving around the toilet/bathroom.
  • Use a commode or install a portable toilet seat to replace squatting toilets.
  • Ensure toilet seats are of appropriate height such that it is easy to get up from
  • Use non slip mat or apply non-slip floor treatment solution.
  • Ensure toiletries, toilet papers and clothing are within reach.
  • Always keep the floor, wall and fixtures dry after use.

Ensure Proper Lighting

  • Install night lights in bedroom, bathroom or along the hallways to light up the walkway at night.


  • Reduce sudden glares and maintain consistent lighting from one area of the house to another.
  • Ensure stairways are well lit.

Video

  • Here is a short video on what are some of the home safety measures you can undertake to make your home a safer place.

Note:

The above recommendations are just guidelines. Your Occupational Therapist may change or add recommendation(s) as appropriate. This article is accurate as of June 21 2011.

References:

  1. Protect elderly from falls (n.d). Retrieved March 25, 2010, from Reader’s Digest Web site, http://www.rdasia.com/article/3892
- Last updated 21 Jun 2011,9:04 pm




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