In Home Health Care Safety Checklist

GOOD COMPANY SENIOR CARE performs a thorough in home safety inspection and makes recommendations for insuring the safety of your loved ones before beginning any assignment. The following is a recommended safety checklist:

Fall Prevention Home Safety Checklist

Have you checked your home for safety hazards that increase your risk for falls? A thorough home evaluation is a great way to prevent senior falls and serious injury. Any items checked “no” are potential hazards that require attention.

Exterior

  1. Are step surfaces non-slip?
  2. Are step edges visually marked to avoid tripping?
  3. Are steps even and in good repair?
  4. Are stairway handrails present?
  5. Are handrails securely fastened to fittings?
  6. Are walking paths covered with a non-slip surface and free of objects that might be tripped over?
  7. Are walking paths clear, safe and even with no holes in the concrete?
  8. Is sufficient lighting available to provide safe ambulation at night?
  9. Are leaves and snow cleared away?
  10. Are tools and yard equipment safely and securely stored?

Helpful tips:

Interior (Entry and Main Living Area)

  1. Is the entryway clear of clutter with at least 36” wide access?
  2. Do the door locks operate smoothly?
  3. Does the porch light adequately light the porch and the door?
  4. Are the light switches located near room entrances?
  5. Are the lights bright enough to compensate for limited vision?
  6. Are the lights glare free?
  7. Are stairways well lit?
  8. Are handrails present on both sides of stairway?
  9. Are the handrails securely fastened?
  10. Are the stairways free of objects?
  11. Are there light switches at top and bottom of stairs?
  12. Are the stairs marked for visibility with contrasting tape or step lights?
  13. Are steps slip resistant?
  14. Are steps even and uniform in size and height?
  15. Are there smoke and carbon monoxide detectors present with fresh batteries?
  16. Are all electrical outlets cool to the touch?
  17. Are electric cords properly plugged in and safely tucked away?
  18. Are there nightlights in halls and stairwells?
  19. If present, are electric heaters placed well away from rugs, curtains and furnishings?
  20. Is the fireplace chimney clear of accumulation and inspected annually?
  21. Are carpets in good repair with edges tacked or taped down?
  22. Are linoleum and plastic stair treads secure?
  23. Are throw rugs secured with non-slip backing and taped down?
  24. Are floors finished in a non-slip way? Has high polish been avoided?
  25. Are rooms uncluttered to permit unobstructed mobility?
  26. Is water temperature reduced to prevent scalding?
  27. Are water faucets clearly marked hot and cold?
  28. Is the furnace checked yearly?
  29. Are there established house-smoking rules?
  30. Do the room furniture patterns allow easy access to doors and windows?
  31. Do the doors, drawers and windows open and shut easily?
  32. Is the furniture strong enough to provide support during transfers?
  33. Are telephones easily accessible?
  34. Are flashlights available in every room?
  35. Is glow tape stuck on important items to identify them in dark?
  36. Are cleaners and poisons clearly marked?
  37. Are window and door locks sturdy and operational?
  38. Are medications properly stored and usage instructions written down?
  39. Is a first aid kit available with up-to-date supplies?

Helpful tips:


 

Kitchen

  1. Are dishes and food stored on lower shelves for easy access?
  2. Is step stool sturdy and have a high handle for support?
  3. Are step stool treads slip resistant and in good repair?
  4. Is lighting sufficient, especially over the stove, sink and counter-tops?
  5. Are towels and curtains kept away from the stove?
  6. Are electric appliances and their cords kept well away from the sink?
  7. Is flooring non-slip?
  8. Are the “Off” indicators on stove and appliances clearly marked with brightly colored tape?
  9. Is there a telephone in the kitchen? Are emergency telephone numbers displayed including family contacts?
  10. Is there a fire extinguisher within easy reach and in good order?
  11. Are whistling teakettles and food timers in use?
  12. If the pilot light on the stove goes out, is the gas odor strong enough to alert the homeowner?
  13. Is food properly stored?
  14. Are refrigerator and cupboards free of spoiled or expired food?
  15. Are pots and pans of a lightweight type?
  16. Are potholders and oven mitts available?
  17. Are the appliances, including refrigerator and stove, in good working order? 18. Are pet dishes set out of walking area?
  18. Are table and chairs strong and secure enough to provide support when leaning, standing or sitting?

Helpful tip:


 

Bedroom

  1. Are lamp and light switches within reach of the bed?
  2. Is the electric blanket in good working order?
  3. Is the telephone accessible from the bed?
  4. Is there an emergency telephone list near the telephone?
  5. Is there a flashlight and a whistle near the bed?
  6. Are medications stored away from the nightstand?
  7. Is the bed an appropriate height for easy transfer?

Helpful tips:


 

Bathroom

  1. Is the door wide enough for unobstructed access with or without an assistive device like a cane, walker, or wheelchair?
  2. Is the threshold low enough to avoid being a tripping hazard?
  3. Does the floor have a non-slip surface?
  4. Are floor rugs secured with non-slip backing and carpet tape?
  5. Are grab bars securely fastened next to the toilet and in the tub and shower areas?
  6. Are there non-skid strips, decals or rubber mats in the tub or shower?
  7. Is there a tub or shower seat available?
  8. Is the toilet seat elevated for easy transfers?
  9. Is there sufficient, accessible, glare-free light available?
  10. Is there telephone access available in the bathroom?

Helpful tips:


 

Some Other Things You Can Do to Prevent Falls

Exercise regularly. Regular exercise makes you stronger and improves your stamina, balance and coordination. It also helps to increase your bone density and balance hormone levels. It improves circulation, blood pressure, and heart and lung health.

Do an annual Brown Bag Review. Simply place all your medications, prescribed and over the counter meds, along with any herbal, nutritional and natural health supplements you take into a brown paper bag. Write your name, date and phone number on the outside of the bag. Take it in to your doctor or pharmacist to review your meds for potential interactions or side effects like dizziness or sleepiness. The more you and your doctor know about your medications, the less likely you’ll be to experience bad effects.

Have your vision and hearing checked once a year. Both vision and hearing problems can increase your fall risk.

Keep your glasses clean.

Wear sturdy, well-fitting shoes with non-skid soles. Take care of your feet. Talk with your doctor about any pain, numbness, tingling or any wounds that don’t heal properly.

Source: CBS News, The Senior's Choice

 

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