Home Safety Tips II: Main Living Areas
Baywood Home Care Registered Nurses and Care Managers Judy Ophus and Karen Freer say that many of these home safety tips come from combined decades of experience, as well as from the clients themselves.
Doors and doorways
Doors that swing outward past the frame allow the most accessibility for people using walkers. Also, make sure that doorways are wide enough to accommodate your assistive equipment.
When able to safely use stairs, make sure the stairway is well lit using high-wattage bulbs. Check the railing to make sure it’s secure. If feasible, install handrails on both sides. “Consider carrying items up or down stairs using a tote bag looped over your arm, so that both hands are free. If stairs are no longer safe, another option is to install a chair lift,” says Ophus, an RN who has worked in a home care nursing for nearly 30 years, most recently as a director of nursing.
Move heavily used items onto the counter to prevent the need to reach or bend for things. Prepare meals ahead that can be taken out of the freezer and reheated easily in the microwave.
Are you one of those Minnesotans who kicks off your shoes as soon as you walk in the door? Well, now is the time to stop that nonsense. Take it from 85-year-old John Robert, who recently suffered a fall when he cut a corner short and tripped over shoes he’d left to dry in the hallway near his front door.
It is apparent that staff at Baywood truly care about their clients. “We develop close relationships with our clients and their families,” says Ophus. “Home safety is just one way that we can make people’s lives better every day.”