Community Link
Produced by LCDI
January/February 1999. back
Making the Home A Safer Place for the Older Person
Do you know that as you get older you are more likely to have an accident in your home and as result the injuries sustained will be much more severe?

Accidents are a major cause of avoidable ill health, injury and death. They affect all age groups and older people are especially vulnerable. However most accidents are preventable and here are some tips to keep the home as safe as possible for the older person:

  1. See Your Way, Watch Your Step
    - Use bright lights in halls and over stair ways and steps
    - Have your eyes tested regularly and keep your glasses clean
    - Wear well fitting shoes and slippers
    - If you have to reach up, use steps with a secure base
    - Always ensure that any floor coverings will not cause you to trip and fall

  2. Hypothermia
    - Cold Can Kill
    - Food, your body's winter fuel-take plenty of warm drinks and warm, nourishing foods
    - Keep active
    - Wrap up warmly with several layers of clothing and headwear
    - Keep your home warm: if necessary seek advice regarding benefits and financial assistance

  3. Fire Kills
    - Use fireguards
    - Never smoke in bed
    - Ensure a Smoke Alarm is installed and working
    - Turn of all electrical appliances when not in use
    - Ensure the chimney is swept at least twice a year

  4. Scalds
    - Always run cold water in the bath first
    - Fit showers with thermal cut-outs to prevent scalding
    - Take care using hot water bottles
    - Handle hot liquids very carefully

  5. Medicines
    - Store safely in original containers
    - Take correct dose regularly as instructed
    - Don't hoard or share and dispose of safely

  6. Aids an appliances
    - Seek professional advice on choice and safe use
    - Regular maintenance is essential

  7. Alcohol
    - Drink wisely and in moderation
    - Store away from children
    - Seek medical advice if taking medicine

  8. Security
    - Never answer the door to strangers
    - Find suitable locks and view-finders
    - Never keep large sums of money in the house

  9. D.I.Y
    - Plan DIY work carefully
    - Have the correct tools for the job
    - Follow the manufacturers instructions
    - Take extra care using electrical appliances, including lawnmowers

  10. Electrocution
    - Check that plug sockets and flexes are in good condition
    - Do not overload sockets
    - Do not use electrical appliances in the bathroom
    - Switch off all electrical appliances at night except fridge and freezer
    - Use a residual current device when necessary e.g. Power tools and lawnmowers

  11. Cuts
    - Use a non-slip mat when cutting or chopping food
    - Dispose of broken bottles and opened tins carefully

  12. Poisoning
    - Take medicines as instructed
    - Store household chemicals in original containers capped and locked away.
These safety messages were compiled by the Foyle Trust Accident prevention Group for older people

Over 65's are invited to attend the Homesafe Project that will be held in Pine Villa, Gransha Park from 22-26 March '99

Homesafe is a multi-agency educational programme organised with the co-operation of a variety of statutory and voluntary agencies, each concerned with helping older people become aware of potential changes in and around their homes.

To book places please telephone +44 (0)28 71 347478

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