SAFETY IN THE HOME
OUTSIDE, GARAGE AND STORAGE AREAS
- Every "Always There" employee is responsible for safety in the home. Home accidents are a major cause of injury and death. A simple fall can result in a serious, disabling injury.
- The best way to prevent accidents is to be alert to potential hazards. It is the employee's responsibility to check for hazards on each visit to the home. Some safety hazards can be corrected by the employee, with permission from the client. If caregiver is unable to correct a hazard, it will be reported to his or her supervisor as soon as possible. Also, remember to document these problems and your interventions on the weekly service report.
- Always use your common sense as you perform your duties and keep safety in the home on your mind every visit.
- Please review the following list of potential hazards in the home and suggestions for promoting safety in the home.
- Keep a list of emergency phone numbers next to each telephone and in an easily visible place like the refrigerator. Include family member's numbers and the "Always There" office phone numbers. Also, keep the telephone within easy reach.
- Keep the home as neat and uncluttered as possible.
- Keep all medications stored in a safe and dry location, out of direct sunlight like kitchen windows, and out of children's reach. Call the office regarding old medicines that may need to be thrown away.
- If possible, a first aid kit should be kept in the home at all times.
- Remember to use proper body mechanics.
- Observe extension cords for frayed wiring and suggest replacements. If cords are under rugs, remind the client that this is a fire hazard and suggest another way to place them.
- Make sure that lighting is adequate in the home, especially the pathway to the bathroom at night. Install and use night lights throughout the home and place a lamp or flashlight within easy reach of the bed. Replace burned out light bulbs.
- Make sure wheelchairs, walkers, canes, etc., are in good working condition and learn how to use them correctly.
- Remove any obstacles that may be in the way of walking pathways such as personal belongings, cords, furniture and sharp-edged objects.
- Throw rugs should be removed or secured with a rubber non-skid mat underneath the rug.
- Wipe up spills immediately.
- Keep items that are frequently used within easy reach including rearranging cabinets so that items frequently used are easy to reach.
- Report steps, stairwells, and walkways that are not in good condition or that have poor lighting.
- Steps should have carpeting that is securely fastened or non-skid strips in place if there is no carpeting.
- Marking the edges of steps with brightly colored tape may help vision impaired clients.
- Remind clients to use the handrails on steps, etc.
- Remind clients to wear shoes with non-slip shoes.
- Look for safe and easy ways for clients to cook or help themselves in the kitchen. If a client is weak, sitting on a chair at the stove instead of standing may be helpful.
- Sink and stove should be well lit and curtains kept away from the stove.
- Pan handles should be turned away from the burners and the edge of the stove. Front burners should be used if possible to avoid reaching over to back burners.
- Pot holders should be kept near the stove and oven.
- Clothing with loose sleeves should not be worn while cooking.
- Baking soda should be kept near the stove.
- Make sure appliances are turned off when not in use.
- Knives should be kept in a knife rack or drawer.
- Hazardous cleaners and chemicals should be stored out of reach.
- Assist clients in and out of the tub and/or shower.
- Bathtubs and showers should have non-skid mats or strips on the inside and a bath mat on the outside of the tub/shower.
- Towel bars and soap dishes should be firmly installed.
- Soap and shampoo should be within easy reach.
- Suggest safety equipment like grab bars and shower chairs.
- Keep electrical appliances away from the bathtub, shower and sink areas.
- Keep razors stored in a safe place.
OUTSIDE, GARAGE AND STORAGE AREAS
- Hazardous cleaners and chemicals should be locked up or kept out of reach.
- Porches, balconies, decks, etc., should have secured railings and steps.
- Check smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries as needed.
- Know the location of all exits and remind the client where they are located.
- In case of fire, RESCUE FIRST AND THEN CALL 911.
- Sleep with bedroom doors closed.
- When using a fire extinguisher, aim at the base of the fire.
- Oxygen tanks and equipment should be stored away from heat and/or flames.
- NO SMOKING signs should be posted throughout the home.