Feeling safe and secure at home is made easier by ensuring doors and windows have secure locks and by limiting how household keys are shared. The front door of a home should only be accessible to or opened for trusted people including close friends, relatives and bonded caregivers. Copies of keys or access to keys stored in a secure lock box (available at hardware stores) should be limited to a few trusted people.
Home & Personal Safety
Falls are one of the most common safety issues for seniors. Most serious falls happen at home but there are strategies that can be used to reduce the risk.
Home Support clients of Beacon Community Services participate in the Strategies and Actions for Independent Living (SAIL) Falls Prevention Program. The goal of SAIL is to integrate falls prevention strategies into regular client care. Community Health Workers are trained to implement the program that includes an interactive checklist tool and an action plan for reducing risks around the home. Ongoing monitoring and reporting helps identify additional risk reductions that may be required over time.
SAIL participants play an active role in the program, having responsibility for recording and reporting falls, helping to identify fall risks and choosing actions to reduce those risks. In addition, clients who are able participate in the SAIL Home Activity Program are taught physical activities designed to help maintain or improve strength, balance, and endurance.
There are many things that can be done to reduce the risk of falls around the home and to increase overall personal safety.
To reduce tripping hazards around the home:
- Keep pathways, hallways and stairs uncluttered and well lit
- Remove scatter rugs which are often a cause of tripping
- Use a walker or cane that’s required for general mobility and short trips around the home
Extra safety precautions in the bathroom include:
- Bathmats with non-skid backing
- Non-slip surfaces for bathtubs and showers
- Grab bars for the bath and toilet
- A nightlight
- A bath seat for shower safety
- An emergency release on the door lock
To increase fire safety around the home:
- Operational smoke detector(s) that are regularly inspected
- A working fire extinguisher in the kitchen
- A kitchen timer as a reminder to turn off a stove top or oven
- More information on fire safety practices are available from local fire departments
Preparations for an emergency:
- Keep telephones in convenient locations with lists of emergency and non-emergency numbers
- Post a visible list of current medications and medical history
For some people a personal call system provides added security and peace of mind. This device is worn on the body and requires simple operation to call for help.
Personal call systems include:
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