How often does a person generally think about their safety? Most young, strong, healthy adults rarely ever think twice about it. As we get older, though, we might take a broader view of things, recognizing that we can’t run as fast as we once could, that rushing up and down the stairs poses certain hazards, even though we walk just fine at the moment.
For seniors, safety might be a concern every so often or even every day. In order to create a safer environment for aging seniors, it all begins with just a few simple steps.
First, check the home’s electrical outlets.
It’s easy to overlook this, but if there’s an outlet that’s broken, the polarity of the wires is wrong, if anything is cracked, it’s an older house with old wiring that is degrading, there is an increased risk of serious problems.
One of the most significant is a fire hazard. All of these conditions can and have led to fires in houses. Any problems that exist within the electrical system of the house is a potential safety hazard for whoever lives there, senior or otherwise.
Unfortunately, most people overlook these hazards because they don’t know about them. If an elderly person is slow to get up and out of bed, can’t move as fast as they used to, a potential fire in the middle of the night can be just as — if not more— hazardous because of their age than for a younger individual.
Second, check all lighting.
This includes nightlights if they’re necessary. Any lights that are out, even though they might be part of a system, is one more blown bulb closer to darkness, usually at the most dangerous and inopportune times.
Check the lights and replace any as necessary. Fluorescent lights, when they start to fail, will not turn on right away. If there’s any delay in them illuminating, replace them.
Third, check all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Set a reminder on your phone, tablet, or computer and check these at least once a month. It’s also a good reminder to replace the batteries in them every six months.
If you don’t like to be wasteful — and most people don’t — reuse those older batteries in something else, but keep fresh ones in those smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at all times.
Lastly, make sure only UL listed devices are used in the house.
These are electrical devices that have been tested and certified safe. Any device that is not UL certified could be a potential electrical shock or fire hazard, depending on the device.