The New Year is the perfect time to complete a home safety check, not only for you, but for an elderly loved one as well. These 5 tips will help ensure the New Year goes smoothly and your loved one stays safe.
Tip #1- Check Smoke Alarms
Test the smoke alarm to ensure the batteries are fresh. If the siren is weak or doesn’t emanate from the smoke detector, it is time to replace the batteries. It is also recommended to keep a fire extinguisher on each level of the home.
Tip #2- Fall Risk Factors
Check the entire home to make sure it is free from factors that increase the risk of falls. Throw rugs and surface level changes not indicated by changes in color are huge fall risk factors. Also, make sure rugs are secured with non-skid tape or mats. For more helpful suggestions to avoid falls, view our Tips for Preventing Falls resource guide.
Tip #3- Review and Update Emergency Contact List
It is important to keep emergency contacts such as doctors, relatives, and neighbors up to date. Review these contacts at least once a year. It would also be helpful to include insurance information; company name, policy number, phone number, etc. in case of any medical emergencies. Pinterest has a wide range of emergency contact forms that are free to download. Keep this form somewhere visible. Relevar Home Care recommends the front of the refrigerator.
Tip # 4- Water Heater
It is recommended that the water heater be set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Water heater temperatures set any high may increase the risk of scalding. On the other hand, it is important that your water heater is set no less than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. According to Mr. Rooter, water heaters set below 120 degrees have an increased risk of developing diseases in the stagnant water inside the water heater.
Tip #5- Check Expiration Dates
Check the fridge and pantry to make sure that food items have not expired. Food items may lose their nutritional value after the expiration dates. They may also spoil or become stale. Although some food items are safe to consume a few weeks after the expiration date, better to err on the side of caution to avoid upset stomachs. Relevar Home Care tip: Use masking tape and date left overs or meals prepared in advance. This will ensure that food being consumed is fresh.