Accidents can happen to anyone, but they become a major concern for those who are frail, disabled, confused, or otherwise impaired. Burns and scalds may happen as the result of carelessness, weakness, poor eyesight, poor judgement, inattention, and any number of things. For example, the coffee pot or pan of boiling water may be too heavy for them to handle. They may doze off while smoking a cigarette, causing a burn to the skin or catching their clothes on fire. They may lose their balance, causing hot liquids to spill or be knocked off the stove or table. I’m sure you can think of many other causes.
Here are some suggestions to lessen the risks:
Use small appliances. They’ll be lighter in weight and easier to handle.
Plug appliances directly into an outlet, not an extension cord due to the possibility of tripping, causing hot liquid or food to spill.
Set the hot water heater to a temperature at or below 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Avoid clothes with long, loose-fitting sleeves when cooking.
Check the oven control knobs to be sure they’re clearly and correctly labeled, easy to grasp, and in good working order. You might want to consider purchasing an automatic shut-off switch for the stove.
Install non-slip grips on handles of pots and pans.
Don’t place hot liquids or foods at the edge of a counter or table. Move them inward so they can’t be accidentally knocked off.
Check their bath water or shower before they get in to be sure it’s not too hot. Their reaction time and/or sense of touch may be impaired.
Make it a rule there’s no smoking in bed or after taking medications that could cause drowsiness.
Safety concerns go beyond the physical dangers. You may be interested to read about Scams under the category “Lions, Tigers, and Bears, Oh My!”
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