A caregiver cleaning up the house and making the bed

How to Make your Home Safe

Falls can lead to serious injuries especially for the elderly and the children. Hence, making the home a safer environment for all is important. Understanding how to make your house safer can help to prevent unnecessary falls and injuries to your loved ones.

Related: First Aid for Every Home

Why is Ensuring Home Safety Important?

An elderly man sitting on the sofa and reaching out to his grandson

According to an article in Reader’s Digest, it mentioned that at least one-third of the elderly who are 65 years old in Singapore had a fall. Falls can lead to serious injuries especially for the elderly and the children. Some of the falls could result in hip fractures and head injuries, which may have a negative physical and psychological impact on the person.

Hence, making the home a safer environment for all is important. It can help to promote your quality of life and enable you to lead a more independent lifestyle. Here are a few simple tips to make your home a safer place to live in.

Related: Caregiver - Home Modifications

Home Modifications

An elderly woman on the floor after falling due to the slippery floor

Living Room

  • Ensure electrical and telephone cords/wires are not obstructing the walkways by taping them securely to the sides of the room.
  • Arrange furniture to ensure a spacious walkway.
  • Use chairs of a comfortable height with back supports, armrests and firm cushions.
  • Ensure that the walkways are well lit.
  • Have a clear, uncluttered pathway.
  • Ensure carpet and rugs do not have folds or creases when placed on the floor. Either have them securely taped to the floor or do not use them at all.

Related: 9 Health Hazards of Electronic Devices for Kids

Kitchen

  • Wipe up spills immediately and keep the floor dry.
  • Arrange all commonly used items within easy reach.
  • Put away all sharp objects and chemicals. Appliance cords should be kept away from the sink or stove areas. Avoid placing loose rugs or cloths on the floor.

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Bedroom

  • Choose a bed of suitable height (at least of knee height) with a firm mattress.
  • Place a telephone at your bedside for emergency purposes.
  • Place a commode by the bedside if you visit the toilet frequently at night.

Related: Catch Your Zzzs - Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

Toilet / Bathroom

  • Install grab-bars to assist you in getting up from the toilet seat and provide you with support when moving around the toilet/bathroom.
  • Use a commode or install a portable toilet seat to replace squatting toilets.
  • Ensure toilet seats are of an appropriate height such that it is easy to get up from
  • Use a non-slip mat or apply non-slip floor treatment solution.
  • Ensure toiletries, toilet papers and clothing are within reach.
  • Always keep the floor, wall and fixtures dry after use.

Related: Drowning Dangers In Your Home

Ensure Proper Lighting

  • Install night lights in bedrooms, bathrooms or along the hallways to light up the walkway at night.
  • Reduce sudden glares and maintain consistent lighting from one area of the house to another.
  • Ensure stairways are well lit.

Related: Healthy Eyes, Clear Vision

Watch this short video on some of the home safety measures that you can adopt to make your home a safer place.

 

Note: The above recommendations are just guidelines. Your Occupational Therapist may change or add recommendations as appropriate.


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