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Warning: Your home can be your destiny

When you think of home, you think of a place of rest, comfort, peace, serenity, and joy.

Is it? But do you know that your home may harbor more than a dozen hidden dangers that can turn it into a sinking place in the blink of an eye?

And seniors, especially those over 65, are more likely to be unfortunate victims due to poor eyesight, impaired balance and reduced cognitive function.

To prove it, here are some amazing numbers that may make you take a second look at your home:

o In 2009 in England and Wales alone, 7,475 people aged 65 and over died in home accidents, 49% of them from falls. -rospa.com;

o According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), millions of people over the age of 65 or one in three older people suffer from falls. – cdc.gov.

Domestic accidents involving elderly people have become a major concern for government institutions and regulators as some of them are preventable. But due to complacency, carelessness, or ignorance, they end up in emergency rooms or die untimely.

To avoid ending up in the home accident statistics, these tips will be very helpful for you or your loved ones.

1. List all emergency numbers:

Have all the contact numbers of your children, close relatives, 911, poison control center, fire department, your family doctor, or a suicide help service ready.

Put the list in your wallet or somewhere safe and easy to access, or in your phone’s contacts list.

If you’re into high tech, download apps to your phone so you can connect with them quickly and easily.

2. Check for possible sources of falls:

Look for frayed floor rugs, power cords, lamp stands, wobbly dining room chairs, step stools, porch welcome rugs, tall closets or closets, living room extension cords, footstools, etc.

Don’t take them lightly. Even if you can move your eyes around your house

close, you can easily trip and fall.

Add these to your caution list in addition to the above:

o Do you sleep on the ground floor if possible?

o Do you have grab bars on the walls of your home – from the living room to the kitchen to your bedroom?

o Fasten or remove carpet edges to the floor?

o put shoes and books where they belong?

o Store groceries on kitchen countertops so you don’t have to reach up when you need them.

3. Identify possible sources of fire:

In 2010, 143 people died in fire-related accidents in the UK.

Home fires are usually caused by faulty electrical wiring, overloaded outlets, use of inferior plugs and outlets, unplugged electrical appliances, smoldering cigarette butts, oily carpets, being thrown near a hot spring, failure to turn off the gas, etc.;

To eliminate these potential hazards:

o Use certified cables, sockets, plugs and sockets?

o Do you turn off devices before going out or going to bed? store flammable objects correctly, do not overload sockets;

o Install smoke alarms in your home and make sure they work?

o Do you have fire extinguishers in your bedroom, living room and dining room and make sure you know how to use them or keep them fully charged at all times?

o Do not attempt to put out a fire once it has started. Get off and call 911.

4. Burns and scalds:

Burns and scalds can come from radiators, stoves, kettles, hot baths, or even a cup of hot chocolate sipped at night before bed.

Don’t take this lightly. Contact burns in people over 65 can be fatal if they catch it.

To avoid this risk,

o Do not consume more hot drinks than necessary?

o Arrange your tea or coffee utensils as close together as possible.

o Do you treat your cooking utensils with the utmost care?

o Do you always use gloves when working with hot objects in the kitchen?

o When showering, always turn on the cold water first before slowly turning on the hot water knob to avoid burns.

5. Is your bathroom safe?

Bathrooms, as small as they are, are big when it comes to home accidents.

Accidents happen around the toilets, shower stalls and bathtubs.

To avoid these risks, consider the following:

o Do you use non-slip mats?

o Have you installed grab bars?

o Do not set the thermostat higher than 1200F to minimize the risk of scalding?

o Do you use special chairs if you have difficulty getting in and out of toilets and bathtubs?

o Have your mobile phone ready to call an emergency number if necessary.

6. Get Rid Of Toxins:

Seniors are particularly vulnerable to poisoning due to a weaker immune system and lower metabolism.

Accidental drug poisoning or overdose occurs when you do not have proper knowledge of your prescription medication or take medication that is not intended for you.

Keeping partially opened canned goods in the refrigerator for too long can also lead to food poisoning.

Don’t push your food budget too far to eat stale or moldy foods. This can also lead to food poisoning.

To avoid this home risk:

o Do you always wash your hands before working near food?

o Do you avoid recycling food that has been in the fridge for more than two days?

o Do you always check the expiry date when buying canned goods?

o Do not store canned goods in partially opened cans?

o Throw away moldy fruit and other foods?

About your medication:

o Always buy from credible and reputable pharmacies?

o If you are asking for prescriptions, ask your doctor about possible side effects of other medications you are talking about.

o Never experiment with drugs. Are you making sure you’re taking what was prescribed by a doctor and not recommended by a friend?

o Don’t take other people’s medications just because you have the same illness. Different people react differently to medication.

Last year I ate something at dinner that gave me severe food poisoning. I had diarrhea from 5am until late afternoon. Every hour on the hour I had to rush to the restroom to be discharged.

It subsided when my daughter and son-in-law, both doctors, fed me saline intravenously.

Last night while attending the wake of an aunt who died four days ago from a bad fall, I met a young girl who was also attending a neighbor’s wake.

She was already in her 60s, home alone, and died of a fall while going to the bathroom.

When relatives found her, she was already turning blue and had a large laceration on her head.

No matter how safe you feel at home, accidents can happen at the most unexpected times and circumstances.

Home security can easily become a disaster? Your days of retirement can be easily shortened by a sudden fall, a stale meal, or a smoldering cigarette butt on your mattress as you drift off to sleep.

About the author

Amine

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