Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
HOME & BUILDING INSPECTORS & INSPECTION METHODS
ALUMINUM WIRING HAZARDS & REPAIRS
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
BRICK STRUCTURAL WALL BULGED, LOOSE
BUILDING ENTRY for DAMAGE ASSESSMENT
BUILDING SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE - home
CARBON MONOXIDE - CO
CESSPOOL SAFETY WARNINGS
CHIMNEY CRACK & COLLAPSE RISK
CIRCUIT BREAKER FAILURES
DECK COLLAPSE Case Study
DISASTER BUILDING INSPECTION & REPAIR
EARTHQUAKE DAMAGED FOUNDATIONS
ELDERLY & VETERANS HOME SAFETY
ELECTRICAL SAFETY for INSPECTORS
EMERGENCY RESPONSE, IAQ, GAS, MOLD
FIRE CLEARANCES, SINGLE-WALL METAL FLUES
FIRE SAFETY CHECKLIST, CPSC
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FOUNDATION CRACKS & DAMAGE GUIDE
FRAMING DAMAGE, INSPECTION, REPAIR
GAS HEAT ODORS
GAS PIPING, VALVES, CONTROLS
HEAT TAPES, Heat, Insulation prevent Freeze-Up
HOME INSPECTION SAFETY HAZARDS
LIGHTNING PROTECTION SYSTEMS
MIXING / ANTI-SCALD VALVES
MOBILE HOME INSPECTIONS
MOLD in BUILDINGS
NOISES COMING FROM WATER HEATER
ODORS FROM HEATING SYSTEMS
OIL BURNER SOOT & PUFFBACKS
OIL TANK ABANDONING PROCEDURE
OUTHOUSE / LATRINE FIRE & EXPLOSION
PLUMBING SYSTEM ODORS
WALL DESIGNS, TYPES, DAMAGE
SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
SEWER GAS ODORS
SPLITS & CRACKS in STRUCTURAL WOOD BEAMS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
STAIR FALL & TRIP HAZARDS
TANK TYPES: EXPANSION, OIL, SEPTIC WATER, ALL
UNLINED FLUE INSPECTIONS
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS
WOOD STOVE OPERATION & SAFETY
WOOD STRUCTURE ASSESSMENT
Home safety checklist & tips for elderly or disabled occupants:
This article explains special home safety concerns for the elderly and for disabled people, offering suggestions for safety inspections and for obtaining financial aid to perform necessary home safety or home accessibility improvements.
Our page top photo shows a too-fat hand railing that cannot be safely grasped.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2015 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
At 2AM mom decided to carry an armload of clothes downstairs to her washing machine. Wearing open-heeled slippers with smooth soles, carrying an armload of laundry with both arms full, and stepping down stairs that were poorly designed with narrow treads and thick soft nosed carpeting, she lost a slipper and fell.
Mom's injuries included three broken ribs, an elbow so severely broken that an elbow replacement was required, and multiple lacerations to her head. After lying unconscious for some undetermined time Mom crawled to a telephone and asked a neighbor for help.
Major surgery, rehabilitation, round-the-clock nursing care, and a long, slow recovery were in store. (Photo above-left, modified for privacy, shows an elderly homeowner with her home health care aide after a stair fall injury).
The stairs and our long standing debate of their dangerous nature had been a recurrent debate between an independent-minded mother and son, to no avail. Obviously, being aware of their dangerous nature was not enough.
The author's neighbor, at age 85, made a wrong turn in an upstairs hallway after using the bathroom late at night. Dr. S. fell down stairs to a landing, narrowly-missing a fatal fall through a window located at the landing, and while he recovered, his injuries were so severe, both mental and physical, that he had difficulty walking and rarely left his home again until his death years later.
Falls like these are so severe that they can materially affect the length and quality of life for the elderly. Yet the hazards involved could be easily spotted by an experienced home inspector or home safety inspector.
Priority of Safety Concerns in Homes for the Elderly
While every unsafe condition at a building should be corrected as soon as possible after it is discovered (see Safety Inspections below), below we list some of the highest priority safety concerns that should be checked. This list is an OPINION based on field experience and literature review. CONTACT us to suggest changes or additions.
In a home safety article "Making Home a Safer Place, Affordably" by Lesley Alderman and appearing in the New York Times (July 2009), Alderman provided some excellent home safety inspection and home safety improvement financing suggestions that we summarize here:
Special Safety Improvement Financial Aid & Insurance Protection for the Elderly or Disabled
Safety & Emergency Monitoring Systems for the Elderly or Disabled - Aging in Place
BeClose Systems provides a definition of "Aging in Place" as follows: [Quoting]
What is Aging in place?
Monitoring Systems Support Aging-in-Place Programs for the Elderly
A wide variety of monitoring and safety notification systems for the elderly and disabled are offered to the public. And in August 2010 the New York Times reported on developing sensor and monitoring technologies that help children (or others) monitor aging parents (or others).
The Times article raised the important issue of privacy, quoting experts and suggesting that the decision for telemonitoring of anyone should be decided by the person being monitored, and should be negotiated as between co-equals. "If it’s not an agreement with the parent, it can be a very destructive thing."
For people who are comfortable being closely watched in their home, a family of sensors and telemonitoring devices, systems, and services can provide continuous and very detailed information such as indicators that the monitored person has:
Examples of elder-monitoring services listed by the Times article (and others we have found) include the following:
Watch out: the same Times article reports that even where intensive monitoring systems are installed, people rarely check in on the monitoring indicators' status more than once a day. OPINION-DF: systems that are able to detect that something is wrong and initiate an emergency notification to close-by responders may be valuable.
Continue reading at HOARDING HAZARDS or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
Suggested citation for this web page
at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.
Green link shows where you are in this article series.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions & answers or comments about home safety hazards of particular concern to senior citizens, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
Search the InspectApedia website
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...
Technical Reviewers & References