Electrical Safety Precautions for Elderly
The ageing population in Australia is growing at an alarming rate. Only a handful stay at nursing homes whilst others tend to stay at home and opt for in-home care package. When staying alone, there are couple of things to keep in mind when it comes to electricity and handling different appliances Poor eyesight and hearing loss may cause them serious injury. Here are some electricity precautions to protect elderly at home.
- Avoid using dim lights. Poor lighting increases the risk of trips and falls. Make sure there is enough light especially along the stairs, hallways, toilets and cooking area.
- Switch all bulbs to LED bulbs to reduce fire hazard.
Related topic: Proper lighting at workplaces
- Ensure all light switches are located near entryways
- Place a switch at the top and bottom of stairways.
- Use rocker switches because it’s easier to use than old toggle switches.
- Consider switches which glow in the dark to make them visible at night. Check glowinthedark website for options.
Use motion sensors
- Install motion sensors which automatically turn on lights when movement is detected.
- Touch sensitive bedside lamps can be used which are far more efficient than regular ones operate than lamps with the switch button.
- Replace all light switches with motion sensors for more elder’s safety. Also, it is more energy efficient.
Cooking and Kitchen Safety
- Enable auto-off features for appliances such as kettles and toasters.
- Make sure to unplug all appliances in the kitchen after use.
- Turn off all kitchen appliances after completing the cooking process.
Upgrade the kitchen
- Change up old appliances with updated ones. Old appliances and devices tend to malfunction over time, Consider energy-efficient appliances to save more energy.
- More outlets helps in reducing electrical overload.
- Use heating system. Never try to use a stove or oven to heat up the house.
- Keep out all floor mats in the kitchen to lessen trip hazards.
- Place appliances in low areas which usually used by elders such as microwaves.
Heating and Space Heaters Safety
- Ask a professional to inspect the heating system at least once per year to fix faults.
- Use appliances only for their purpose and design. For example, do not use the stove for heating the home and space heaters are not for drying clothes.
- Ensure all heating devices are at least a couple of feet away from flammable items
- Set hot water system temperature at a maximum of 50°C.
- Install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Read the proper home heating guide here.
- Do not put space heaters in wet areas like toilets unless it is designed to use so.
- Place space heaters in flat and low surfaces. But avoid placing space heaters on the top of cabinets or tables.
- Keep out space heater cords to avoid a tripping hazard.
Home Exterior Safety
- Make sure there is enough lighting in garden and balcony with a motion sensor to make it easier for elders to move around especially at night.
- The main door and stairs can be fitted with motion sensor lights for easy access and safety.
By installiing extra phone extensions in different parts of the home, help may be only a few minutes away. Any person with a hearing aid can use a phone with a flashing light to draw their attention, There are countless ways to keep our elderly safe at home. Let them live independently without risking their safety.
Need further reading about electrical safety? Visit Econnex.