As we seniors continue to shelter in place at home, check off these simple safety steps.
♦ Fire Safety: I have tested my smoke alarms and they are working. I don’t wear loose clothing when I cook. I stay in the kitchen while food is coming on the stovetop.
♦ Fall Prevention: I make sure my stairs are well-lighted, free from tripping hazards and the hand rail is secure. My area rugs are secured to avoid tripping.
♦ Medicines: I keep my medicine in child resistant containers. If I’m having any memory or confusion issues, I have my medicines clearly labeled to avoid mistakes.
♦ Clean Products: I have locked up my cleaning products and store them up and away from children.
Prevent Fires: Keep all clothing away from flames and ignition sources. Loose clothing can catch fire easily. Seniors are 16% pf the population but account for 74% of the deaths from clothing fires-largely from loose robes or other clothing. Always “stand by your pan” and avoid being distracted while cooking. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and working smoke alarms on every floor and inside every bedroom. Smoking materials can ignite clothing. Don’t smoke while drowsy and safely extinguish smoking material. Test your smoke alarms every month.
Prevent Falls: Falls are the #1 cause of injuries and death for seniors in the home. Avoid falls by keeping stairs well lighted and always grip the handrails when using the stairs. Keep stairs and floors cleared and slip resistant, and remove items you could trip over such as area rugs and cords. Install grab bars and slip-resistant surfaces in your bathroom and only use step stools with atop hand rail. Never climb ladders alone.
Prevent Medication Poisonings: Medicines are often swallowed by young children who find them where their parents or grandparents have left them in a purse, on a nightstand, in a pill container or some other convenient place. All adults should use child resistant packages wherever young children live or visit. If child-resistant packaging is not an option, keep medicines in a locked container, out of reach and out of sight of children. Seniors who may have memory or confusion issues should make sure that medications are properly labeled for their safety.
Prevent Poisonings from Cleaning Products and Laundry Packets: Store household cleaning products and laundry packets in their original containers and in cabinets with child safety latches or locks. Never transfer these products to a different bottle without a child-resistant closure and a label. Children and others can mistake them and drink or eat the contents. Put the Poison Control Center’s Hotline (800-222-1222) in your cell phone.