If you provide home care for a senior parent, chances are you do whatever you can to promote his or her safety and wellbeing. Protecting him or her from a home fire involves understanding what the risks are and taking the appropriate steps to reduce or eliminate them.
Set Smoking Rules
Seniors with dementia or those who are weak due to an acute or chronic health condition sometimes smoke in bed, lounging in a chair, or while resting otherwise. While the best way to stay safe is to quit smoking, other preventative measures include only smoking at one specific location in the house and never leaving a cigarette unattended. When finished smoking, snub butts in water before throwing them away.
Another risk factor is present in the kitchen of every senior. Food that’s cooking should never be left unattended. If stepping away, your loved one should turn the stove off. Keep a fire extinguisher and pot covers within easy reach to help extinguish flames quickly. Many seniors also benefit by hiring a Douglas County caregiver to prepare meals.
Use Space Heaters Correctly
In the winter months, staying warm can pose a hazard for seniors. Watch the use of portable space heaters, make sure they’re shut off before going to sleep, and invest in one with an auto-shut off feature. When using a portable heater or fireplace, take caution to keep anything flammable at least three feet away from the heat source. Use a sturdy screen in front of a wood-burning fireplace to protect the room from sparks and ashes, and always have chimneys professionally inspected on a yearly basis.
Install Smoke Detectors
Every home should have smoke detectors on every level of the house, in the kitchen, and in every bedroom. Other worthy investments include automated extinguisher systems and kitchen stove alarms that cut off power to the stove when triggered.
If you’re concerned about your senior loved one’s safety, it may be time to consider at-home care. Home Care Assistance provides a wide range of care services, including comprehensive Alzheimer’s and dementia care for seniors in Douglas County. Our experienced caregivers provide safety monitoring, help with challenging tasks, and companionship on a schedule that best meets your loved one’s needs. For more information, don’t hesitate to call 720-580-5378 and speak with a friendly Care Manager.