If you’re a homebound patient, here are some helpful tips just in case there is an emergency:
1. Keep telephone and emergency numbers in reach, especially when alone. Keep necessary items close by to avoid reaching and stooping.
2. If you use a wheelchair, be sure to lock the brakes before getting up and sitting down. If your balance is not steady, have someone help you when transferring.
3. Keep walker/cane within reach. Do not attempt to walk without them, and do not walk alone if your balance is unsteady.
4. Use the devices and instructions for moving as given by your therapist or nurse.
5. Falls are a major cause of injury in the home. Make your home safer by doing the following:
A. Light up stairways. Use handrails on stairways at all times.
B. Keep floors and stairways free of clutter. Remove throw rugs–they can trip you.
C. Secure electrical cords behind furniture.
D. Choose proper attire: wear appropriate footwear as advised by your nurse or therapist. Avoid excessively long clothing.
E. Use grab bars and non-skid mats in the shower.
6. Other fall precautions:
A. Rise slowly when getting out of bed or chair.
B. Place nightlights in bedroom, bathroom and hallways.
C. Do not climb on stools, ladders or furniture.
D. Walk carefully, look ahead.
E. Avoid leaning on unstable objects, i.e.; rolling objects, towel racks, or soap dish on shower wall.
F. Do not walk on wet or slippery surfaces.
G. Perform exercises as directed by nurse or therapist to strengthen muscles and keep joints flexible.
7. FIRE SAFETY
A. Install smoke (and carbon monoxide) detectors. Check them monthly for correct operation. Smoke detectors should be on all levels of the home and OUTSIDE bedrooms. A carbon monoxide detector should be near the furnace.
B. Do not run electrical cords under carpeting. They can short out and start a fire.
C. Do not overload electrical plugs or circuits. Do not replace a blowing fuse with a higher amperage fuse.
D. Make and practice an emergency exit plan. If you are bed or chairbound, notify your emergency service.
E. Obtain multipurpose (ABC) type fire extinguishers for each living area, furnace area, gargage, and storage area. Place in a highly visible location.
F. Have a flashlight and battery powered radio handy. Make sure you have batteries.
8. If you live alone, consider arranging for someone to call or stop by daily to make sure you are OK. This person should have an emergency number.