One thing we do for every single client before we start their care is a home safety check. This will be the start of a little mini-series on the blog about home safety checks and home safety for older adults. Today, we’re going to go over what home safety checks are and why we do them at CareBuilders.
What They Are
Safety checks include many items, but the general point of them is to evaluate our clients’ homes for risks and safety equipment and features (like functioning smoke alarms, for example). Not only do we check for basic items like that, we also check for things that may be a risk to older adults, like tripping hazards. Someone from the office will do a home visit, ask you a few questions and fill out a checklist. It’s a normal part of the onboarding process, and it’s necessary for us to have one on file for both the office and caregivers to access.
Why We Do Them
We do these checks for a number of reasons. One is that we want to make sure there are no safety hazards to our caregivers in the home (the vast majority of the homes are safe, we just have to do our due diligence). The other is that there are many things that are hazardous to an older adult that most people may not think about until they get older. If an older adult has lived in one house their entire adult life, they may not have noticed the hazards of the back porch not having a railing, or the clutter in their home providing obstacles for them.
People understandably don’t see what may seem innocuous in their home as a fall hazard, but we will be new to the space, so we’ll be better able to spot some of these things. Some of the items on the checklist, like a shower chair or grab bars in the bathroom, may be things you haven’t heard of before you started care with us.
In conclusion, safety checks are important to evaluate an older adult’s home. You can read about winter home safety here.