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32  Safety Tips For Seniors

  • Keep outdoor steps and walkways in good condition and clear of debris.

  • Illuminate all stairways and hallways and provide light switches at both ends.

  • Use nightlights or bedside remote controlled switches.

  • Provide handrails in hallways and stairways.

  • Keep a sturdy nightstand next to the bed so glasses and other personal items are within reach.

  • Put felt or soft material over sharp edges and corners of furniture such as nightstands, tables and shelves.

  • Tack down the edges of carpets and rugs; remove throw rugs that slide.

  • Keep pathways clear of furniture and other objects.

  • Provide handrails in the bathroom (especially near the toilet) and use non-skid strips in bathtubs.

  • Use a shower seat and shower hose for those unable to stand in the shower.

  • Avoid using bath oils or lotions in the bathtub.

  •  Use kitchen appliances with thermostats and timers. The elderly find appliances with signal lights and buzzers easier to use.

  •  Use fireproof curtains on windows near the stove.

  •  Clearly mark the "off" position on stoves and ranges so a person with diminished eyesight can immediately tell if the element is off.

  •  Set water heater thermostats or faucets so water does not scald the skin.

  •  When cooking, don't wear loose fitting or flammable clothes. Long sleeves can catch fire easily.

  •  Install smoke detectors in the kitchen and throughout the rest of the house.

  •  Keep a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it.

  •  Arrange frequently used kitchen items in an easy to reach storage cabinet.

  •  Have regular eye examinations and keep glasses clean and in good condition.

  •  Use a walker or cane if you need one.

  •  Wear light-colored clothing with reflector tape on your shoes and carry a flashlight when going out at night.

  • When catching the bus, have your fare or bus pass ready to avoid losing your balance while looking for it.

  • Always have an umbrella on hand, even during sunny days.

  • Choose shoes, which are flexible and easily molded to the feet.

  • When choosing house slippers, make sure the soles don't have too much grip (which may grab carpeting and cause a fall).

  • Shoes with Velcro straps are easier to put on and take off.

  • Apply reflective tape on the sides and back of your shoes to make you more visible at night.

  • Many older people trap themselves behind multiple door locks that are hard to open, especially in an emergency. Install one good lock that can be opened easily from the inside.

  • Avoid isolated areas and bring a friend along when leaving your neighborhood.

  • Always keep your identification and important medical information on you at all times in case of an emergency.

  • For more information about safety, talk with your physician or call your local fire or police station.

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