Get family involved! Enlisting their grandchildren can be a great way to help older adults receive important reminders about avoiding injuries. Kids can help check for household hazards and look to see that there are smoke alarms. Older kids and teens can help test alarms and help you with other safety checks and tasks. A few things to remember:
- Check the home for tripping hazards. If there are small rugs, they can be taped down to avoid slipping.
- Are all the exits clear of furniture and clutter? Would it be easy to get out of the home if the smoke alarm or CO detector goes off?
- Are night lights needed in bedrooms, bathrooms and hallways? Make sure there is enough light at the top of stairs.
- Are stair handrails firm?
- Does the bathroom need grab bars, a non-slip mat, a shower seat?
- Are there smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on each level and outside the bedroom? Remember that smoke alarms should be replaced every ten years and CO alarms every seven years.
- Test the smoke alarms (including hard-wired ones). Are they working, and just as importantly, can everyone in the home hear the alarms? Basic smoke alarms may be difficult to hear because of their high pitched sound. If your ‘grand’ can’t hear the alarm from the next room, consider a Strobe Alarm which uses an extra bright light, or a Shaker Alarm that uses a vibrating device to shake a bed to awaken someone who wouldn’t hear the alarm without hearing aids.
- Try this tip from our 2020 Rogoff Scholarship winner: Add a reminder to family members’ calendars to regularly change each alarm’s battery.
- When was the last time the furnace and chimney were checked or cleaned? You may need to call to schedule a service or cleaning.