The elderly experience many changes which impact their ability to safely care for themselves. Home care services enable them to remain independently in their homes without compromising safety.

Caregivers should conduct a walk-through when providing home care. Look at smoke detectors, outlets, electrical cords, and appliances.

  • Every floor of the home should have a working smoke detector that’s tested regularly. If the client is hearing-impaired, alarms with flashing lights are available.
  • Outlets and switches must have cover plates. Exposed wiring is a fire hazard. Touch the cover plates. If they are warm then an unsafe wiring condition may exist.
  • Frayed or damaged electrical cords need to be replaced. Make sure the rugs and furniture aren’t on top of cords. If it’s covered, a cord can overheat and cause a fire. And furniture placed on top of electrical cords can damage them, in which case they would need to be replaced.
  • Check see how many appliances are plugged into each outlet and compare the combined wattage against the outlet’s stated limits. Check the tags on extension cords against the wattage of the appliances plugged into them. Ensure none of these are over capacity. Examine any cords with three-prong plugs. If they’re plugged into two-prong outlets then an adaptor should be used.
  • Examine heating pads and electric blankets for damage or exposed wires. Damaged wiring, used under other covers, and laying on top of the blanket or heating pad can cause it to overheat. They should be turned off when not in use.
  • Appliances should be kept away from the stove and sinks and bathtub, and should be unplugged when not in use.
  • Most space heaters require three feet of clear space on each side. Things should not be set on top of them.

Home care is a valuable resource allowing seniors to feel self-sufficient in their own homes, while still ensuring safety.