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Home Safety Checklist for Older Adults


Last year, more than 1 million people 65 years and older were treated in emergency rooms for injuries associated with accidents at home. Since many of these episodes resulted from a lack of home maintenance, walk through your home and use this checklist to spot possible safety hazards. If you notice a potential problem, arrange for it to be fixed immediately.

Make sure all appliances carry a UL or other nationally recognized testing laboratory mark, which means the item was tested and found safe to use. Check electrical cords for fraying or cracking, step stools for splitting or cracking, and throw rugs for tripping hazards like bumps and turned-up corners. Make sure outlets are not overloaded. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test them periodically.

Living room:
Check rugs, electrical cords, lamps and other lighting. Inspect the fireplace and chimney for fire hazards, and make sure all passageways are clear.

Make sure appliances have a UL or other NRTL mark. Check the bathtub, shower, rugs and mats for slipping hazards and inspect cabinets for safe storage of medications. Consider installing permanent safety bars in the shower and by the toilet. Make sure the water heater temperature is set no higher than 120 degrees.
Bedrooms: Examine rugs and electrical cords. Make sure the area around the bed is clear of tripping hazards. Use night lights in case you have to get up at night.

Garage and workshop:
Make sure all power tools bear the mark of a nationally recognized testing lab. Inspect extension cords and cords on tools and lawn and garden equipment. Check for proper ventilation and make sure flammable liquids are stored properly.

Make sure there’s proper lighting on and around stairways. Examine handrails and steps for possible defects or weaknesses, and test stair coverings for possible tripping hazards.

Posted: 11/24/2021 12:58:04 PM
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