When an elderly family member or friend moves into a new home, you'll want to do everything within your power to ensure that they're both happy and safe in their new living space. Their safety perhaps takes on greater relevance if they're affected by mobility issues, problems with their vision, or even a neurological/neurodegenerative issue that requires more careful attention. Making the electrical components of a new home safe is actually rather straightforward and can make a world of difference. So how can you help an elderly family member or friend to ensure that the electrical components in their new home are as safe as possible?
The Light Switches
After many years living in the same home, you probably don't even look as you turn on a light. The location of the switch is seared into your memory, so there's never any fumbling around in the dark. Of course this is different when you move to a new home, and is more pertinent if the home's inhabitant is affected by diminished vision. Making the light switches immediately and obviously visible will make life easier for an elderly family member who has moved to a new home. It can be as simple as ensuring that the light switches stand out from the walls around them. A thin painted border can do the trick, or you could just apply a border of reflective adhesive tape.
The Electrical Outlets
The location of electrical outlets can be problematic. You want to avoid the use of extension cords as much as is possible, as these can create a stumbling hazard. A multiple socket adaptor can also create a stumbling hazard, and can overburden an outlet in some cases, increasing the potential for an electrical fire. Investigate the possibility of installing new electrical outlets in more convenient positions throughout the new home. Unless extensive rewiring is necessary, this is a very straightforward job for a qualified electrician.
An elderly family member or friend who might be in the early stages of alzheimer's disease (or a comparable neurodegenerative condition) will probably need some extra help so that they can maintain their independence in their new home. The kitchen can be the main area of concern, but this space can be made safe with the installation of an electric cooker guard. This is an isolation device that controls the length of time that the oven can be left on for, automatically deactivating all functions of the cooker after a certain period of time has elapsed. An isolation valve can be fitted to a gas oven as well, which works in the same way.
With a small amount of effort, the electrical components of your loved one's new home can be tweaked to be as safe and convenient as possible.