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"Elder-proofing" your home.

Many young couples "child-proof" their homes once their families start to expand, but what about "elder-proofing?" The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center recommends that homeowners who have elderly persons living with them take the following precautions:

(1) Check for adequate lighting to compensate the elderly person for poor vision;

(2) Clear pathways and floors of knickknacks, electrical cords, furniture, and other items;

(3) Install safety bars and/or a bench in the bathtub to help the elderly individual get out of the tub without falling;

(4) Lower the hot water heater setting. Some elderly people have sensory defects and may scald themselves;

(5) Raise the bed a few inches, if possible, and put straight backs and cushions on toilet seats and sofas;

(6) Install an emergency communication system, even if it's just a whistle or a beeper, in case of falls;

(7) Install double railways along stairs and porch steps to make it easier for the elderly person to balance and pull himself along.
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Publication:Medical Update
Date:Jul 1, 1991
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