The Encompass Way: Home Safety Evaluation

Today’s post is part of our ongoing series, The Encompass Way. Here, we’ll go over many of the steps involved in setting up a comprehensive care plan, which helps us to provide seniors and their families a complete understanding of the available care options and helps them maneuver through the challenges of the system.

home care omahaWhen determining whether or not a senior should remain at home, your loved one’s safety is our primary concern. For each client, Encompass Senior Solutions conducts a home safety evaluation that examines all portions of the home while aiming to identify possible safety hazards. Oftentimes, with a little rearranging and/or modifications, your elderly parents can happily remain in their home.

Below is a sampling of our safety evaluation. We ask our clients to answer each question with a Yes, No or N/A.

Windows/doors

  • Are windows/doors easy to open/close?
  • Are locks sturdy/easy to operate?
  • Are doors wide enough for a walker/wheelchair?
  • Are door thresholds raised too high?
  • Is there space to maneuver while opening/closing doors?
  • Does the front door have a view panel?
  • Is so, is it at a proper height for you?

Floor surfaces

  • Is the surface safe? Non-slip?
  • Are there scatter rugs or door mats that may be dangerous?
  • If so are they obvious or marked in some way?

Steps/stairways/walkways

  • Are they in good repair? Smooth/safe surfaces?
  • Are there hand rails on both sides of stairway?
  • Is there grasping space for both knuckles and fingers on railings?
  • Are the stair treads deep enough for your whole foot?
  • Are there any hazardous open risers on stairs?
  • Would a ramp be feasible in any of these areas if it became necessary?
  • Are stairs clear of clutter?
  • Are stairs uneven in depth/height?
  • Are stairways poorly lighted?

Appliances/kitchen/bath

  • Is arrangement convenient and safe?
  • Can oven/refrigerator be opened easily?
  • Are stove controls easy to use?
  • Are they clearly marked?
  • Is counter height/depth good for you?
  • Can you sit while working?
  • Are door cabinet knobs easy to use?
  • Are faucets easy to use?
  • Do you have convenience items such as a garbage disposal?
  • A trash compactor?
  • A hand-held shower head?
  • Can you get in and out of tub/shower with ease?
  • Do you have bath/shower seat?
  • Are there grab bars where needed?
  • Are there non-skid mats or abrasive strips for footing?
  • Is there a light switch near entrance of the bathroom?
  • Is there an nightlight in the bathroom?
  • Is hot water heater regulated to prevent scalding/burning?
  • Are there towels, curtains or other items too close to range?

Bedroom

  • Is there a light/switch within reach of the bed?
  • Evidence of smoking near/in bed?
  • Heating pad/electric blanked in use in bed?
  • Is there a telephone within reach of bed?

Medicine cabinet

  • Is medicine kept in a locked cabinet?
  • Are there old/outdated medicines in the cabinet?
  • Is medication clearly marked?

Storage

  • Is storage located conveniently?
  • Is storage adequate and usable?
  • Can you easily reach closet items?
  • Have you maximized your storage space with innovative products?

Electrical outlets/switches/alarms

  • Are outlets/switches easy to turn on/off?
  • Are outlets properly grounded to prevent electrical shock?
  • Are extension cords in good condition?
  • Are they needed?
  • Do you have smoke detectors in all necessary areas?
  • Do you have an alarm system?
  • Is the telephone readily available for emergencies?
  • Are emergency numbers locate by the phone?
  • Is the telephone equipped for hearing enhancement if necessary?
  • Can you hear the doorbell in every part of the house?
  • Do you have a carbon monoxide detector?

Lighting/ventilation

  • Is lighting sufficient for purpose of area?
  • Is lighting bright enough for safety?
  • Do you have night lights where needed?
  • Is area well ventilated?

Driveway/garage

  • Is parking space available?
  • Is it convenient to entrance way?
  • Does garage door have an automatic opener?
  • Easily accessible lighting in/out of garage?

Gun safety

  • Are firearms kept in locked storage?
  • Are firearms and ammunition stored together?
  • Do firearms have safety locks?

Child safety concerns

  • Is home child-proofed?
  • Are outlet covers in place?
  • Are medicines, poisons and other hazards out of reach?
  • Are matches/lighters available?

Emergency plan

  • Do you have an emergency plan?
  • Do you have ladders or other escapes from upper floors?
  • Do you have a first aid kit?
  • Do you have working flashlights?
  • Do you have fire extinguishers?
  • Are house numbers visible from street?

Currently serving Omaha and surrounding areas, all Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or licensed clinical social workers with no long-term contracts. Contact us today for help with your senior care needs.

Photo credit: sylvar via photopin cc

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.encompass-assessments.com.”