You’ve done an excellent job of making sure your aging loved one has healthy and nourishing food, a safe roof over their head, and perhaps a professional caregiver to look out for them.
You’ve made sure they can stay in their own home – something every senior wants very badly. But have you ever considered doing a home safety evaluation? They’re regularly done in facilities like nursing homes, but many people overlook their importance in the home.
Home Safety Evaluation: How Well Does Their Home Meet Their Needs?
AARP has developed a helpful list of questions you can ask yourself as you walk from room-to-room as an evaluation of the overall safety of your loved one’s home:
- Are they in good shape?
- Do they have a smooth, safe surface?
- Are there handrails on both sides of the stairway?
- How about light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs?
- Is there grasping space for both knuckles and fingers on railings?
- Are the stair treads deep enough for your whole foot?
- Would a ramp be feasible in any of these areas if it became necessary?
- Is the surface safe?
- Any throw rugs or doormats that might slip underfoot?
- Is carpeting loose or torn?
- Are there changes in floor levels?
- If so, are they obvious or well-marked?
- Do they have to step over any electric, telephone, or extension cords?
Driveway and Garage
- Is there always enough space to park?
- Is it convenient to enter?
- Does the garage door open automatically?
Windows & Doors
- Are windows and doors easy to open and close?
- Are locks sturdy and easy to operate?
- Do doorways accommodate a walker or wheelchair?
- Can they walk through the doorways easily?
- Is there space to maneuver while opening and closing doors?
- Does the front door have a view panel or peephole at the right height?
- Is the room arranged safely and conveniently?
- Do the oven and fridge open easily?
- Are stove controls clearly marked and easy to use?
- Is the counter the right height and depth?
- Can they work sitting down?
- Are cabinet doorknobs easy to use?
- Are faucets easy to use?
- Do they have a hand-held shower head?
- Are the items they often use on high shelves?
- Do they have a step stool with handles?
- Can they easily get in and out of the tub or shower?
- Do they have a bath or shower seat?
- Are there grab bars where needed?
- Is the water heater regulated to prevent scalding or burning?
- Are there enough lights, and are they bright enough?
- Do they have night lights where needed?
- Is the home well ventilated?
- Can they easily turn switches on and off?
- Are outlets properly grounded to prevent a shock?
- Are extension cords in good shape?
- Do they have smoke detectors in all key areas?
- Do they have an alarm system?
- Is the telephone readily available for emergencies?
- Does the telephone have volume control?
- Can they hear the doorbell ring throughout the house?
We Can Assist!
If you are unsure how to best help an aging loved one, the trained and compassionate staff at New Wave Home Care is here to help. For over 10 years, we’ve been helping seniors safely stay at home. Based in Pasadena, we work with families throughout the greater Los Angeles area and Southern California. Contact us today to learn more.