Many fires occur in the home and may lead to severe accidents and deaths among adults, especially seniors. Family caregivers need to help their elderly loved ones develop plans to prevent fires and lower their risk of severe injuries. Below are some fire safety tips for seniors.
1. Install Smoke Detectors
These devices can alert your loved one when an issue arises, such as a fire or the presence of dangerous chemicals. Installing smoke detectors is a good start, but the machines must be well-maintained to function correctly. For example, if the system needs to be reprogrammed or updated, it may not operate properly and alert your loved one when there’s a fire. Maintenance for smoke detectors also includes changing batteries often and cleaning the dust from around the device. In some cases, you may need to replace the smoke detector altogether.
If you need help keeping your loved one safe and comfortable at home, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Wellesley, MA, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver.
2. Practice Fire Drills
Although your loved one may never experience a fire inside the home, practicing for emergencies is vital to his or her wellbeing. Having a fire drill plan in place and practicing the steps could reduce your loved one’s risk of severe injuries caused by a disaster. The safety drill should change regularly based on your loved one’s current abilities and the size of the home. For example, if your parent has difficulty walking, seeing, or hearing, alter the safety techniques to account for these conditions.
3. Relocate the Bedroom
When a fire breaks out on the ground floor, it can be challenging for a senior on another floor to get to the first level of the home, and in some cases, it might be impossible. Relocate your loved one’s bedroom to the first floor to handle this issue, especially if no safe exits are on the second level or in the basement. Before moving your loved one’s bedroom, go over the safety facts with him or her, and always ask for permission and suggestions. Relocating the room without your parent’s approval could increase the odds of combative behavior and lead to restless nights.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality in-home care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.
4. Monitor Appliances & Outlets
Most fires are preventable and caused by dangerous habits like leaving a space heater plugged in while no one is home or putting a dish towel near a stove burner. Simple checks throughout the day could prevent fires in your loved one’s home. You should also monitor the lights in the house, change the bulbs often, and replace lamps that are no longer working. If an appliance cord gets hot when it’s plugged in, this is generally a sign the appliance is damaged, or it could indicate the electrical wiring inside the home isn’t functioning correctly.
5. Purchase Fire Extinguishers
Extinguishers should be in accessible areas of the home, including the kitchen and bedroom. After purchasing extinguishers, get your loved one training via the local fire department. Some health organizations also offer this type of training. Fire extinguishers can help seniors put out small fires. However, your parent should always try to escape the home and call 911 immediately when a fire is unmanageable and could cause significant damage or death.
Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Wellesley senior care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks. Call us at (781) 239-0060 to learn about our comprehensive in-home care plans