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CheckboxI was speaking to a client the other day about how his mother fell at home and broke her hip. I do hear this story all too often and he asked if I could write about it in our next newsletter. So please take the time to read or share this article about safety tips around the home.

Checklists:


Outside
Do all your entrances have an outdoor light? Yes_ No_
Do your outdoor stairs, pathways or decks have railings and provide good traction (i.e. textured surfaces) Yes_ No_
Are the front steps and walkways around your house in good repair and free of clutter, snow or leaves? Yes_ No_
Do the doorways to your balcony or deck have a low sill or threshold? Yes_ No_
Can you reach your mailbox safely and easily? Yes_ No_
Is the number of your house clearly visible from the street and well lit at night? Yes_ No_

TIP: If you live in a rural area and don't have a visible house number, make sure your name is on your mailbox and keep a clear description of directions to your home (main roads, landmarks, etc.) by each phone in your house.

Inside
Are all rooms and hallways in your home well lit? Yes_ No_
Are all throw rugs and scatter mats secured in place to keep them from slipping? Yes_ No_
Have you removed scatter mats from the top of the stairs and high traffic areas? Yes_ No_
Are your high traffic areas clear of obstacles? Yes_ No_
Do you always watch that your pets are not underfoot? Yes_ No_
If you use floor wax, do you use the non-skid kind? Yes_ No_
Do you have a first aid kit and know where it is? Yes_ No_
Do you have a list of emergency numbers near all phones? Yes_ No_

TIP: Install a seat at the entrance of your home to remove or put on your shoes and boots. Avoid throw rugs and scatter mats. They're dangerous!

Stairs
Are your stairways well lit and do you have light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs? Yes_ No_
Are your stairs in good repair and free of clutter? Yes_ No_
Do the steps of your stairs have a non-skid surface? Yes_ No_
Are there solid handrails on both sides of the stairway? Yes_ No_
Do you remove your reading glasses when using the stairs? Yes_ No_
Are your stairs in good repair? Yes_ No_

TIP: To help avoid taking a misstep, you can paint wooden or concrete steps with a strip of contrasting colour on the edge of each step or on the top and bottom steps. Don't rush going up or down stairs. Rushing is a major cause of falls.


Fire and Hazardous Materials
Do you have a smoke detector on every floor of your home? Yes_ No_
Do you test your smoke detector every six months? Yes_ No_
Have you developed an escape route in case of fire and a fire safety plan? Yes_ No_
Are you registered on your apartment building's fire safety plan? Yes_ No_
Do you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home? Yes_ No_
Are flammable and hazardous materials clearly labeled and properly stored? Yes_ No_
If you use a space heater, is it placed well away from flammable substances and materials? Yes_ No_
Do you use appropriate power bars to prevent overloading electrical outlets? Yes_ No_
If you live in an older home, have you or an electrician inspected your wiring, fuse box, electrical cords and appliances for safety? Yes_ No_

Click to watch a video as Greg talks about senior safety around the home.
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