Even in the familiar surroundings of your home, there are many potential hazards that could lead to debilitating accidents. Fortunately, practical, simple precautions can be taken to prevent such accidents and help you remain safe and secure in your home.
- Remind your family to keep furniture in the same place, and to put kitchen and other items back in their places. Family members and others should discuss possible changes with you so you know that items have been rearranged.
- Keep cabinet/closet doors either fully closed or fully open. Doors left partially open are unsafe and can cause accidents. Place contrasting tape on the insides or backs of cabinet doors to help identify one that is open.
- Thresholds and steps sometimes are hard to see. Use contrasting paint, safety tape or tread strips to highlight these areas - especially the first and last steps on a stairway.
- Doorknobs can be marked with a piece of yarn, tape or a rubber band to help identify a particular room or apartment door.
- Push chairs under tables and keep cupboard doors closed.
- Paint cabinet doors to contrast with the countertop. Install contrasting knobs or handles.
- Use contrasting plates, tablecloths, placemats, and napkins. Use light or dark colored plates, glasses, or cups to contrast with food and beverages. Use a cutting board that contrasts in color with the items that you are cutting.
- When purchasing appliances and devices, look for those with control buttons or dials that can be marked or labeled, rather than those with digital displays. Mark frequently used or critical settings on your appliances (e.g., 350 degrees on the oven, start position on the dishwasher or washer/dryer). Use tape, nail polish, paint, or commercial products such as Touch Dots, Loc Dots or Hi-Marks. Many appliance manufacturers offer large-print or Braille dials, overlays, contrasting color features and marking kits, so ask before you buy.
- To know when food is done, use an "adapted" timer that has been marked or your own sense of smell or touch.
- A popular addition to many kitchens, the George Foreman Grill allows you to cook food on both sides simultaneously, without setting any dials.
- Easy-to-set bread machines and rotisseries can simplify the cooking process, too.
- Install counter-level outlets for easy access, or use battery-operated appliances. Some people find they have more control when using manual appliances.
- Place tall milk and juice containers in the back of the refrigerator so you don't knock them over.
- Arrange furniture to accommodate your normal route.
- Place white doilies on the arms and backs of chairs.
- Consider using folding snack or television tables instead of coffee tables.
- Cover coffee tables with a bright fabric or centerpiece. Place the table on a different floor surface like a contrasting area rug so that you can feel the difference as you near the table.
- Remove throw rugs or use non-skid rubber backing or double-sided tape.
- Put white tape around the television remote control.
- Get a replacement dial with large print numbers for your thermostat.
- Organize clothes by color or by matching outfits. Use a safety pin to distinguish black from navy. Identify garments by feeling details such as textures and style.
- Purchase a talking alarm clock.
- Select brightly colored towels to contrast with your walls. Keep contrast in mind for accessories like toilet seat covers, toilet paper, and tissue boxes.
- Install a grab rail in the tub for safety. Use non-skid rubber mats in the tub or shower.
- Opt for a talking weight scale or one with a waist-high dial.
- Buy bright or dark-colored soap that contrasts with your tub, or use liquid soap.
Indoor and Outdoor Stairs
- Install banisters or grab rails that contrast with the wall.
- Use contrasting paint, tread strips, or safety tape on the edges of your steps, or at least the top and bottom steps.
- Make sure your staircases are well lit.
- Paint the edges of your porch and steps with yellow paint. Install a railing for safety.