Peninsula Home Care Protects Patients against Household Hazards
SALISBURY, MD – With the arrival of Home Safety Month this June, there’s no better time to evaluate the safety of homes where seniors are living independently to minimize hazards in the home such as falls, burns and poisonings. While falling is the #1 cause of death for those 65 and older, the good news – aging itself doesn’t cause falls.
“Home should be your safe haven, said Nancy Bagwell, Peninsula Home Care Area Director of Operations. “One of the very first things our home care team does when visiting a patient is a home safety assessment. From general household dangers like throw rugs and loose electrical cords to room-specific issues such as high shelves in the kitchen or no grab bars in the bathroom, our staff is trained to help the patient and caregiver understand what changes need to be made to make home a safer place.”
You’ve heard the saying… Home Sweet Home.; Peninsula Home Care wants to make sure home is a safe place too, especially for seniors living independently. Many times just making a few modifications to rooms in your home can help prevent falls and other safety risks. PHC offers a few examples…
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Tips for having a home sweet (and safe) home:
- Double check medications are being taken as prescribed. Remove any expired or unused drugs from the medicine cabinet
- Install grab bars in the shower – do not use the soap dish or towel rack for support
- Consider a handheld showerhead and stool – there’s no way of falling if you’re already sitting down
- To avoid scalds, turn water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
- Make sure fire extinguishers are within reach of patients in wheel chairs
- Wear close-fitting sleeves to prevent spills and burns
- Reorganize cabinets so often-used foods or equipment are within reach
- Smart lights can be controlled from a smartphone or with voice commands, or invest in a motion sensor light
- Avoid bedspreads, bed linens and draperies that reach the floor in order to keep feet from getting tangled.
- Make sure the bed is the appropriate height. The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund recommends beds should be 20 to 23 inches high from the floor to the top of the mattress.
- Remove throw rugs and secure loose carpet edges
- Always get up slowly after sitting or lying down.
- Do not overload circuits – unplug appliances when not in use
- Use only non-glare 100 watt or greater incandescent bulbs
- Make sure all stair cases have good lighting with switches at the top and bottom
- Remove electrical or telephone cords from traffic areas
- Use rails and banisters when going up and down stairs
- Consider replacing round doorknobs with levered handles.
Peninsula Home Care certified physical and occupational therapists also work on strengthening patients, helping them regain balance and teach them how to best conserve energy as they become more mobile. Working in a home environment allows the therapist to make modifications that help patients through their normal activities of daily living such as safe bathing and moving around on different surfaces throughout the home.
About Peninsula Home Care
Providing care for more than 30 years, Peninsula Home Care, in Salisbury and Ocean Pines/Berlin, Maryland, ensures that all patients are involved in their plan of care and strives to give them every opportunity to maintain their independence in the home. The agency has served more than 39,000 patients on Delmarva and was designated as a Peninsula Regional Medical Center preferred home care provider in 2017. For more information, visit www.peninsulahomecare.com.