It is essential that your elderly loved one knows what to do if there is a fire. While you may think that your loved one is older and they should know how to handle a fire, that is not always the case. Many elderly people panic when there is a fire. In other instances, the elderly person might not be able to hear their fire alarm going off. There are numerous reasons why the elderly don’t know what to do if there is a fire. However, you and the elderly care providers your loved one has can help them to practice fire safety and preparedness.
Alert Proper Authorities Ahead of Time
The first thing that you should do if your elderly loved one is living alone is to alert the proper authorities ahead of time. You should make sure the local fire station and police station know what your elderly loved one’s special needs are. For instance, if your elderly loved one has dementia and the loud fire truck shows up, your loved one might hide inside. This could be fatal. If the proper authorities know how to handle the situation ahead of time, they have a better chance of helping your elderly loved one to safety.
You or the elderly care providers should make sure there are smoke alarms on each level of your elderly loved one’s home. If your loved one’s home is big, they may need to have more than one smoke alarm on each level. Someone should test these alarms every month to ensure they are working properly. If the batteries need to be changed, be sure this is done right away. Even if you don’t think the batteries need to be changed, they should be tossed out once a year and new ones should be put in. If your elderly loved one can’t hear very well, you might need a louder smoke alarm or one that has flashing lights when it goes off.
Fire Safety Plan
You should also practice a fire safety plan with your elderly loved one. Be sure they know which exits to use depending on where the fire is at in their home. They need to ensure that all walkways and doorways are clear, so they can get out quickly if there is a fire. In addition, if there are multiple levels in your loved one’s home, you should install window fire safety ladder kits in the upper-level windows.
Other Fire Safety Tips
Many elderly people accidentally set fires in their home because they forget to turn off the stove or they sit something on the hot stove. It is important to ensure your elderly loved one’s kitchen is set up safely. For instance, if your elderly loved one can’t remember to turn their stove off, you can get covers that lock on the stove. This way, only you or the elderly care provider can turn the stove on and off.
These are some of the fire safety and preparedness tips for your elderly loved one. Remember, even if you think your elderly loved one knows what to do if there is a fire, that doesn’t mean that they do.
If you or an aging loved one is considering elderly care in Dulles, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 782-3655.
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