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Home > Living Well > Health Library > Caregiving: Making a Home Safe
You can help protect the person in your care by making the home safe. Here are some general tips for how to lower the chance of getting injured in the home.
It is also important to be aware of safe temperatures in the home. When helping someone bathe, use the back of your hand to test the water to make sure it's not too hot. Lower the temperature setting in the hot water heater to 120°F or lower to avoid burns. And make sure other liquids (such as coffee, tea, or soup) are not too hot.
Here are some things you can do to protect the home from fire and carbon monoxide.
Change the batteries in each at least once a year.
Practice by having a fire drill.
You can help prevent falls by keeping rooms uncluttered, with clear walkways around furniture. Keep electrical cords off the floor, and remove throw rugs to prevent tripping.
If there are steps in the home, make sure they all have handrails, and always use the handrails. Don't leave items on the steps, and be sure to fix any that are loose, broken, or uneven.
If you are caring for someone who has dementia, there are some things you can do to help keep them safe at home.
The person may get confused.
Lock up knives, scissors, medicines, cleaning supplies, and other dangerous items.
For example, you can install these for the stove, thermostat, and water heater.
It may be okay with some help, depending on your loved one's condition. But for people who have memory or thinking problems, it's best to avoid any activities that might not be safe.
Do this if the person tends to wander or tries to leave the home.
Include 911 and numbers for the doctor and family members.
That way you can be contacted if he or she wanders away. If you can, provide a safe place for wandering, such as an enclosed yard or garden.
Current as of:
September 20, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineTeresa L. McGillick RN - Registered Nurse
Current as of: September 20, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Teresa L. McGillick RN - Registered Nurse
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