Safety Hazards in Your Home

Here it is, the beginning of a new year and of course we are all starting a new exercise and healthy eating regimen, but we also need to look at ways to stay safe at home. The U.S. Safety Commission estimates “that an average of 2.9 million people 65 or older are treated in hospitals each year due to injuries sustained at home or on their property.”

As we become senior citizens, we should be aware of possible changes in the aging process. Parentis Health’s article Hazards in the Home for the Elderly states that these new changes to our body often contribute to possible falls or injury.

  1. Changes in our vision and hearing
  2. Decreased strength and balance
  3. Mild cognitive impairments
  4. Pain from arthritis or neuropathy
  5. Use of multiple medications
  6. Isolation

You may have lived in your home for years but because of our age, areas have become a hazard.

Here are a few areas that the Mayo Clinic recommends reviewing:

  • Keeping the house well-lit, especially in the bathrooms, stairways, halls. If a light bulb burns out, replace it, or ask for help to replace it. Also, motion activated night lights are an easy way to add light to any room for the evenings.
  • Bathrooms may need grab bars, rubber mats in the bathtub and thermostat on the water heater set no more than 120 degrees.
  • Outside walkways should be a clear path with handrails and lights if needed. House numbers should be visible from the street for emergencies.

One idea from the Parentis Health article that I found very informative was about medications. They mentioned that some people use the pill organizers depending on the seniors’ capabilities. If assistance is needed to organize the multiple pills, ask the pharmacy if they offer labeled pill packs for each date and time. Also, pharmacists can make prescription labels in large print. There is help available for us to maintain our lifestyle as long as possible and to be safe. Your friends and family would love to hear from you and just talk. Let them know how you are doing.


Submitted by Debbie Reynolds, Health & Safety Chair, Ft Bend Harris Retired Educators


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