Home Safety For The Elderly in IrelandBack to Top
Each year in Ireland 1 in 3 people aged 65 and over are victims of falls. Falls are estimated to generate healthcare costs of around €500 million annually, in Ireland alone. Falls in the aged population leads to an added risk of hospitalisations and are known to hasten declining health and increase mortality rates. However, there are more than just physical injuries. The psychological impact of a fall can lead to depression, anxiety, feelings of isolation and burden. The good news is that many of these falls can be prevented.
Here is a checklist for securing the home. The aim is to help older people to create a safe environment while preserving their independence and feelings of well-being.
General Safety TipsBack to Top
Remove any throw rugs. If they must stay; use a double-sided tape to secure mats to the floor.
· Night lights are perfect for darker rooms
· Rope lighting is a fantastic option for use in hallways that connect the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom.
· Organisation is essential to prevent dangerous clutter.
· Use a "clapper" device to control lamps or consider motion-activated lighting or install a remote control switch.
· Install new batteries each year for smoke detectors.
· Medications should be stored in cabinets which are easy to access. A cabinet that is too high or too low could cause accessibility problems.
· Use a medication organiser.
Bedroom Safety ChecklistBack to Top
· Make sure that all necessities are within reach.
· Remove any clutter.
· Make sure that the bed and chairs are the right height. Feet should touch the floor when sitting on the bed or chair.
Bathroom Safety ChecklistBack to Top
Add grab bars near the toilet, shower, and in the bath.
· Place a rubber mat in the bottom of the bath.
· Make sure the bathtub or shower is not too high. Consider installing walk-in models.
· Add a raised seat for toilet stools.
· Set the water thermostat so that water does not reach uncomfortable or dangerous temperature levels.
· Make sure the water faucets are clearly labelled "hot and cold."
Kitchen Safety ChecklistBack to Top
· Move items to shelves closest to counter height.
· Use hooks for storage and accessibility to the most often used pots and pans.
· Increase light brightness by adding more light or higher wattage bulbs.
· Clearly, label household cleaning supplies that may pose a danger to older people.
· Consider upgrading the flooring to a non-slip surface.
Finally, don’t forget that there are dangers of eating spoiled or outdated food. Chief among these dangers is food poisoning. Remember to go through their refrigerator each week. And inspect dates on perishable food items like meat, eggs, and dairy.
By Sally Writes