SAFETY TIPS – HOW TO BE SAFER IN YOUR HOME AND SURROUNDINGS

SAFETY TIPS – HOW TO BE SAFER IN YOUR HOME AND SURROUNDINGS

By: admin | No Comment | Blog, NDIS
  • Lighting tips
  • Tips to reducing slip hazards
  • Tips to reduce trips
  • Tips for reducing In-home Structural Hazards
  • Tips for keeping safe in public places

Lighting TIPS:

  • Increase the amount of light, particularly in frequently used areas and at night. Don’t forget to turn lights on before you walk around. (Low energy light globes will help to keep the power cost down.)
  • At night, leave lights on in the passage way and other places you might walk.
  • Light switches should be easy to reach. Two way light switches can help in corridors or rooms where there is more than one entry, and on stairs.
  • Decrease daytime glare with net curtains or blinds in your windows.
  • Make obstacles or hazards stand out. For example, highlight the edges of steps with brightly coloured tape or paint; have your furniture a contrasting colour to the walls and floor (for example dark blue chairs, off-white wall, and light blue floor).
  • Avoid heavily patterned floor coverings as they can make it hard to see small obstacles or the edges of steps, because they ‘blend in’.
  • Outside, try to remove anything that throws shadows across paths.

TIPS to Reducing Slip Hazards:

  • Wear safe shoes (avoid loose slippers or narrow heels).
  • Use non-slip mats in wet areas, such as the shower and bathroom.
  • For larger wet areas it may be better to have the whole floor/bath/shower treated to make it non-slip, or replace the floor with non-slip material.
  • Use a hand rail or a seat in the shower or bath.
  • Avoid talcum powder on tiles, vinyl or wooden floors – it makes them very slippery.
  • In the kitchen or eating areas, pick up dropped food and mop up spills as soon as they happen.
  • Do not polish floors.
  • Non-skid tape is very useful both for highlighting edges, and providing extra grip on steps and stairs.
  • Remove mats and rugs or make sure they have either non-slip backing or are secured with double sided tape.
  • Keep outside paths clear of moss, slime and fallen leaves.
  • Make sure the walking surfaces in and around the home have non-slip surfaces

TIPS to Reduce Trips:

  • Keep walkways clear – remove clutter.
  • Tuck electric cords under furniture or around skirting boards. Tape them down. A power board can reduce the number of long cords around a room.
  • Fit a ‘draught excluder’ to the bottom of the door, rather than use a ‘door sausage’ that can be tripped over.
  • Remove, or mark, even small changes in floor level with contrasting colour or tape so they are easily seen.
  • Check outdoor paths for cracks and uneven areas.
  • Make sure quilts, bed-spreads and curtains do not fall across the floor.
  • Remove mats and rugs, or have them well secured. Get rid of mats that curl or fold over easily.
  • Remove or repair torn or stretched carpet.
  • Choose outside door mats with sloping edges.
  • Don’t leave things lying around the garden – roll up the hose.
  • Dogs and cats like to be close. Check where your pet is before you move.

TIPS for Reducing In-Home Structural Hazards:

  • Plan to keep your home well maintained.
  • Think about the safest and most convenient place in your home for each thing you do. For example, it may be better to move the bedroom to the spare room so that it is nearer to the toilet for when you get up at night, or consider a commode chair. Another example is to have all the items you need to make a cup of tea or coffee near the kettle and in a convenient place between waist and shoulder height.
  • Re-hang the bathroom and toilet doors so that they open outwards (if you fall, someone can reach you).
  • Install rails in the bathroom and toilet, and near front and back door and any steps.
  • Have soap holders recessed so that you will not hit them if you slip in the shower/bath.
  • Consult an occupational therapist about eliminating the “hob” or step into the shower if possible.
  • Talk to an occupational therapist about equipment that may make things easier and safer. For example, using a bath board or bath seat if your shower is over the bath, or using blocks to raise the bed height.

TIPS for Keeping Safe in Public Places:

  • Don’t rush, take your time and lookout for hazards such as uneven, broken, loose or wet footpaths and poor lighting.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings, including unsafe surfaces, obstacles, animals, children or cyclists. Scan the
    area before walking.
  • If you use a walking aid, glasses or hearing aid, always remember to take them with you.
    Wear safe shoes.
  • Take extra care on buses, trams and trains. Have your fare or ticket ready before getting on and ask the driver not to move off until you are seated.
  • If you notice a hazard in a public place (e.g. footpath or shopping centre) you should consider reporting it to the appropriate authority. Many councils and shopping centres are grateful to be informed. This may prevent someone else from falling.
  • A walking aid can remind others to be more careful and considerate of you.

*The information detailed above is referenced from ‘A Guide to Preventing Falls for Older People’, Commonwealth of Australia, 2007. This is general information, and shouldn’t be used in place of medical advice from a medical professional or health service provider.

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