Fires can have devastating consequences for seniors. Your aging loved one’s physical strength, memory, vision, and hearing will be important factors in preventing fires. To avoid these disasters, you need to develop simple fire safety strategies, including those outlined below.
1. Install Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms are triggered when an unusual amount of smoke or dangerous fumes are detected. Some devices automatically disburse water to douse fires. However, these systems won’t function correctly without properly charged batteries and regular maintenance, and you should check them frequently to see if they need to be repaired or replaced.
If you need help keeping your loved one safe and comfortable at home, consider hiring a home caregiver. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Oklahoma City respite care experts from Lifestar Home Care are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.
2. Move the Bedroom Downstairs
Navigating stairs is often challenging for seniors with arthritis or other conditions that impact their mobility. Move your loved one’s bedroom to the first floor of the home to eliminate the need to go up and down stairs. Moving the bedroom to the ground level could also help if there’s a fire on the first floor and there are no second-level exits.
3. Avoid Using Candles
Most fires occur due to preventable accidents, such as knocking a candle over. Therefore, your parent should refrain from using candles and opt for other aromatherapy options, such as air freshener sprays and cordless humidifiers. It’s also a good idea to unplug appliances that aren’t being used, such as can openers, blenders, and toasters. Double-check that all electrical outlets are working correctly or closed with safety plugs when not in use.
Professional caregivers can help seniors age in place safely. Families looking for top-rated homecare providers can reach out to Lifestar Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
4. Practice Safety Drills
Even with great safety strategies, your loved one could have an unpreventable accident, making it beneficial to have an emergency plan in place. Practice safety drills with your loved one, which should include:
- Calling 911
- Phoning you and other family members
- Going to a neighbor’s home
- Using a transportation app to leave the property
- Waiting for emergency personnel to assist your loved one out of the house
5. Be Careful when Preparing Meals
Helping your loved one prepare nutritious meals could boost his or her physical and mental health while lowering the risk of a fire, especially if your parent has poor cognitive health. You can cook your loved one’s meals for the week, allowing him or her to heat the entrées in the microwave and avoid using the stove and oven. As a result, you can lower the odds of fires caused by leaving the stove on, placing towels or other flammable materials on a burner, or having a pan catch fire inside the oven.
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 Lifestar Home Care, a leading Oklahoma City senior home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at (405) 288-9275 today.