Accidents at home are among the leading cause of injury or death in the United States. The chance of a person dying due to accidents at home starts rising at the age of 65 and reaches its peak at age 75—where people are four times likely to die of an accident at home.
Having seniors at home can be challenging, sometimes even more difficult than having kids. For those who need professional care, you may want to consider a senior living facility for them. There, they can be taken care of 24/7 and provided medical attention for their ailments.
However, to keep everyone in your home safe and secure, here are the most common household accidents you should watch out for and how you can prevent them from happening.
Falls are the leading cause of nonfatal and fatal injuries in elders. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) revealed that falls comprise 75% of injuries among older individuals in the United States and other developed countries. Falls usually happen due to misplaced items around the home, uneven flooring, unstable furniture, and poor lighting. You can prevent this by installing grab bars or handrails throughout dangerous areas in the house, including bathrooms and stairs.
Moreover, it’s also advisable to provide seniors with house shoes with non-slip soles and ensure proper lighting in all areas in the home.
Fire and Burns
Fires and burns usually happen because of heat-generating devices malfunctioning. Most incidents involving these among older adults result in permanent physical impairments. The risk is highest in the kitchen and bathroom. To prevent elders from getting burned, install anti-scald devices on showers, sinks, and bathtubs for the bathroom. For the kitchen, install smoke alarms throughout the room, and provide oven mittens covering the whole lower arm for seniors to use.
The more severe household accidents usually happen in the kitchens, with minor cuts being the most common one. This scenario usually occurs when elders or kids try to cook by themselves. To avoid this, keep all the sharp objects in locked drawers or cabinets when not in use and assist older individuals with cooking. It’s also wise to have a first aid kit near for those occasional minor cuts.
If an older adult staying with you has vision problems, they’re prone to accidental poisoning in the home since they may ingest medications or cleaning equipment sprawled around the household. To prevent this from happening, ensure all medications and cleaning supplies are stored away safely in secured cabinets where you’re the only with access to it.
Choking and Other Food-Related Incidents
Food consumption is a safety hazard, especially for older individuals with vision problems, allergies, or get confused by labels. Young children are also vulnerable to choking because of small toys or even coins lying around the house.
The most food-related danger with older people is choking. So, when you’re preparing food for seniors and children, ensure you serve the right texture (slightly soft) and size of the ingredients or portions of the meal to prevent them from choking on their food.
Additionally, adding large and readable labels on containers and storage areas for food can prevent other food-related accidents.
It’s no secret that the home can be dangerous, especially for elderly individuals and young children. Going the extra mile to protect them from accidents will ensure that they stay healthy and in the best shape.