Home Safety Tips III: Making your Home More Secure:
Our homes should be the place where we feel the safest and most secure. As you age, or if you are facing knee or hip surgery, it may be a good time to assess your home to help avoid unnecessary accidents. Perhaps you will be sent home from the hospital with a walker. What minor modifications can you make so that everything you need continues to be easily accessible? Baywood Home Care’s Registered Nurse Care Managers Judy Ophus and Karen Freer say that something as simple as installing brighter lighting or eliminating throw rugs may enable people to avoid unnecessary injuries.
Karen Freer was thrilled when her mother-in-law, at age 87, was able to return to the comforts of her own home following surgery to repair a fractured hip. “She was able to avoid going into a long-term care facility with the help of some easy adjustments to her home. Family members stayed with her, and brought her to physical and occupational therapy. It was the best possible situation,” she recalls.
Ophus and Freer offer the following suggestions for increased home safety and comfort
Ah, the allure of the beautiful — but dangerous — rug. Rugs cannot be trusted, especially if you use a walker or other assistive device. Even if a simple rug is secured with double-stick tape or placed on top of a non-stick mat, the corners can curl up and become a tripping hazard. It’s best to remove them entirely.
Pre-program important numbers into your phone. Says Freer, who has been a RN for more than 25 years, “Always have a cordless phone or cell phone on your walker, and plug it into a charger when you go to bed.”
Plug in motion-sensor lights or make sure a table lamp is within easy reach so that you don’t try to make your way to the bathroom in the dark.
Bed skirts and linens
As pretty as they are, bed skirts and linens can be major tripping hazards in the bedroom, as bad as a rug with a curly edge. Make sure all bed linens are well tucked and nothing is resting on the floor.