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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Home Safety for Seniors

THE POLICE STATION

General

Consider a medical alert or a buddy system.
Keep a fire extinguisher and smoke detector on every floor.
Use extreme caution when smoking. Never smoke when alone or in bed.
Always get up slowly after sitting or lying down. Take your time, and make sure you have your balance.
Wear proper fitting shoes with low heels.
Use a correctly measured walking aid.
Remove scatter rugs. Tack down all others.
Remove electrical or telephone cords from traffic areas.
Avoid using slippery wax on floors.
Wipe up spills promptly.
Avoid standing on ladders or chairs.
Have sturdy rails for all stairs inside and outside the house.
Use only non-glare 100 watt bulbs (or greater wattage).
Make sure that all stair cases have good lighting with switches at top and bottom.
Staircase steps should have a non-slip surface.

Bathroom

Leave a light on in your bathroom at night.
Use recommended bath aids, securely installed on the walls of the bath/shower stall and on the sides of the toilet.
Skid-proof the tub and make sure the bath mat has a non-slip bottom.
To avoid scalds, turn water heater to 120 degrees fahrenheit or below.
Mark cold and hot faucets clearly.
Use door locks that can be opened from both sides.
If possible, bathe when help is available.

Kitchen

Keep floors clean and uncluttered.
Illuminate work areas.
Mark "on" and "off" positions on appliances clearly and with bright color.
Store sharp knives in a rack.
Use a kettle with an automatic shut off.
Store heavier objects at waist level.
Store hazardous items separate from food.
Avoid wearing long, lose clothing when cooking over the stove.

Drug Safety

Review your medicines frequently with your doctor or pharmacist and when you take new medication.
Make sure your medicines are clearly labeled.
Read medicine labels in good light to ensure you have the right medicine and always take the correct dose.
Dispose of any old or used medicines.
Never borrow prescription drugs from others.
Check with your doctor or pharmacist before you mix alcohol and your drugs.
Have medication dispensed in a bubble pack or convenient dosette.
Check with your doctor or pharmacist before mixing non-prescription drugs and prescription drugs.

We wish to thank the Care Division of the Victoria, B.C. Capital Regional District for permission to reproduce this information contained in their "Home Safe" brochure.

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