The elderly population in Australia is growing fast. And more of them are staying at home, less is being sent to nursing homes. When at home, most are left alone with no companies, or family members out for work. When leaving them, it’s important to keep our elderly safe at just like protecting our kids. The majority knows that if there’s electricity, there’s a hazard. Elderly are prone to this danger because of change in ability as they get older. 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
- Make sure all switches are near the doorway, to easily turn on the lights before entering a room.
- 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.
- Use touch lamps at the bedside and any areas at home where elders are frequently staying. It is easier to 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
- Replace old equipment and electrical devices with new ones. Old devices are prone to malfunction which may result in electrical faults. Consider energy-efficient appliances to save more energy.
- Install enough number of outlets to avoid overloading.
- 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.
- Make sure all combustible things are at least 3 feet away from any heating equipment.
- 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.
- Properly lit exterior doors and stairs to avoid losing their balance when they walk.
Moreover, install phone extensions in different rooms where elders usually stay, so they can ask for help anytime. If an elder has hearing problems, install a flashing light to get 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.