In honor of April Fool’s Day, we started this two-part series on home safety evaluations. In the previous blog post, we covered home safety evaluations for the entryway, floor and electrical. If you’re visiting this page from the previous post, read on to continue your home evaluation with kitchens, bathrooms and basic maintenance!
When evaluating the kitchen, keep in mind that most kitchen injuries are caused by reaching for something. Look at how your loved one will access and operate common appliances like the fridge, microwave and stove. Controls placed at the front of the stove prevent your loved one from reaching over burners. Also, take a look at the ventilation in the kitchen. Poor ventilation can lead to kitchen fires.
The next step in the kitchen is to review countertops. Are countertops at the right height to allow your loved one to complete their tasks? Do you have the most commonly used items on the countertop to avoid lifting and carrying? Are utensils easy to grab without moving around the kitchen? Check for all of these items when examining the kitchen.
According to the National Institute on Aging, 80 percent of falls each year in seniors over age 65 occur in the bathroom, making this one of the most important rooms you will evaluate today. Just like rugs, you’ll need to make sure bathroom mats are secure to the floor, and just like the kitchen countertops, make sure all commonly used items are easily reachable. You’ll also want to examine the tub and toilet areas to be sure there are enough grab bars and proper footing.
Basic maintenance is another commonly missed issue. Many falls in the home occur because the individual is trying to change a light bulb or complete other standard home maintenance. The easy fix for this is to make sure your loved one has a sturdy stepladder.
For more on home accessible solutions and proper home evaluations, reach out to our EZ-ACCESS customer service team. Our customer service representatives are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to home accessibility and would be happy to offer advice or connect you with a home accessibility expert in your area!