Thousands of elderly people are injured each year from accidents that happen within their own homes. Most of these accidents occur while they are performing everyday tasks. Some of the more common types of accident that someone elderly is at risk from is slipping and falling. So, what can you do to reduce the risk of these types of accidents in your loved one’s home?
Looking around a home you can easily see where someone with limited mobility might trip and fall. Appliances that have long electrical cords could become lethal if they are in a walkway area or stretching underneath rugs and carpets. To help reduce the risk of electrical cords becoming an accident risk, you may need to rearrange the furniture so that they are not stretching across an area that would be a tripping hazard. Another thing to check for is the condition of wires and power cords etc. If they are old, fraying or wires are exposed, they are a fire hazard and need to be replaced or checked out.
Many elderly people prefer the comfort of carpet in their homes. However, carpet can become a serious tripping hazard if it is coming up in places or the adhesive is wearing out causing the carpet to loosen. Rugs are another, potentially lethal, hazard as they are very easy to slip on. If there are rugs in the home, ensure they have a very good rubber backing which will make it stay firmly in place.
We have only mentioned a few of the numerous hazards that an elderly person can face in their homes, but it does highlight the need to go through the home analyzing whether there are areas that need to be improved for safety.
With children in the home, you very likely have some type of permanent or semi-permanent play equipment in your yard, or maybe you even have a full fledged playground. This is a very good thing to have since your child will receive exercise while enjoying the benefits of fresh air. However, there are also some dangers that you need to keep in mind as a parent to make sure that the playground doesn’t become a risk to your children.
Take swings, for example. Children love to swing back and forth on swings, but if two swings were to be too close to each other, this could lead to them smacking together. They also shouldn’t be too close to the frame for the same reason.
The playground surface also needs to be taken into consideration. If it is too hard, a fall could be that much more dangerous. All equipment should also be inspected for damage, such as loose parts or rust, which could lead to damage if the equipment were to fail.
Mike McFadden, Certified Master Home Inspector in Orlando, FL