Senior Safety: In-Home Care Agency Creates Checklist for National Safety Month

BrightStar Care Helps Families Identify & Address Problem Areas in the Home

Gurnee, Illinois, UNITED STATES

CHICAGO, June 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As part of National Safety Month, BrightStar Care, a full-service home care agency that provides both medical and non-medical care to patients from infants to elders, is educating families on how to make simple changes in their homes that can decrease the likelihood of injuries in their aging loved ones.

According to the National Safety Council, approximately 245 people die every day of unintentional injuries in homes and communities. Sharon RothMcGuire, MS, RN, GNP-BC, Senior Vice President of Quality & Clinical Operations for BrightStar Care, notes that in-home caregivers can play a significant role in educating families about home-safety measures and prevent many of the needless injuries and deaths that involve seniors.

BrightStar Care offers the following checklist to make each major area of the home safe for seniors:

  • Kitchen

-- Store sharp knives and other utensils in a rack.

-- Mark "on" and "off" positions on appliances clearly and with bright colors.

-- Switch out food regularly (check expiration dates).

-- Ensure that your loved one avoids wearing loose, long-hanging clothing when cooking over the stove.

  • Bathroom

-- Install grab bars next to the toilet and in the tub or shower.

-- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub or shower floor.

-- Clearly label cold and hot faucets.

  • Bedroom

-- Keep a nightlight illuminated in the room.

-- Make sure there is a nightstand next to the bed with a lamp, telephone, clock and additional space for any other important items (such as medications).

  • General safety/outside

-- Periodically check and change smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

-- Front and back doors should have strong, bolted locks and a peephole.

-- Stairways should be free of objects and hand rails should be sturdy.

-- Garage door is easy to operate (even if snow is piled up against it).

-- All extension cords and wires should be out of the path of foot traffic and not plugged in to too many electronics.

In addition to above precautions, RothMcGuire said BrightStar Care encourages families to visit their aging loved ones regularly.

While fulfilling the demand of in-home care for the nation's growing aging population continues to be a focus of service for BrightStar Care, the company has carved a niche with the ability to offer the full continuum of care in the home, including companionship services for seniors and skilled medical care for just about any need imaginable. As the only national brand to pursue Joint Commission accreditation at each location, BrightStar locations nationwide are committed to meeting National Patient Safety Goals around fall prevention. As part of BrightStar's unique approach to reducing the likelihood of clients experiencing a fall, a Registered Nurse performs an evaluation of fall risk during initial and subsequent health assessments for every client. Proactive measures to address fall risk are then incorporated into individualized plans of care to promote safety in addition to addressing the specific care needs of each client.

For more information on fall prevention, visit BrightStar Care's "Focus on Falls" page. To find helpful tips, videos, blog articles and downloads geared toward helping families to mobilize around fall prevention, please see the Elderly Fall Resource Center.

About BrightStar Care

Based in Chicago, BrightStar Care is a national franchise with more than 250 locations that provide full-service staffing of medical and non-medical homecare to private clients from children to older adults within their homes, as well as supplemental staffing to healthcare organizations and corporate clients. Each of BrightStar's locations voluntarily pursue Joint Commission accreditation, a nationally recognized measure of quality that is recognized throughout the healthcare industry. BrightStar Care's well-qualified, attentive caregivers provide peace of mind to clients and their families, providing a customized care plan to match clients with qualified, pre-screened caregivers that best suit their needs. BrightStar Care is one of the few home care providers that offer both medical and non-medical homecare, available to all clients 24/7. BrightStar uses the nationally known patient satisfaction survey company Press Ganey to measure client satisfaction and is proud that 9 out of 10 clients would recommend us to a friend.

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