Seniors tend to run colder as they age and because of this, they tend to want to make their homes warmer, especially the bedroom. This can cause a possible unsafe condition unless precautions are put in place.
Seniors are typically colder due to lack of movement and circulation and frequently seek additional warmth in a number of ways including space heaters and radiators and/or electric blankets. First and foremost, make sure any heat source is being used safely and correctly. Keep these precautions in mind:
- If the furnace is run on gas, have it checked by the gas company for leaks.
- Seniors sense of smell is often dulled with age and a leak could be missed.
- If there is a utility (gas furnace, gas hot water tank, gas stove) that has the potential of creating carbon monoxide, have a Carbon Monoxide detector installed in the bedroom and make sure it has regular maintenance.
- Locate a smoke detector in the bedroom and make sure that it has regular maintenance.
- Heat sources such as space heaters and radiators should be located away from beds.
- Space heaters should be the type that turn off if they tip.
- Space heaters should be the type that will not burn if touched.
- Do not run the electrical cords under carpets as this can create a fire hazard.
All electrical repairs should be done correctly with the proper equipment.
Proper use of electrical tape is a must.
Make sure the outlet where the space heater is plugged in will not over heat while heater is in use.
- Do not plug a space heater into an electrical extension cord that is not rated for this use.
- Watch that extension cords are not kinked or out where they can create a tripping hazard.
- Keep all cords away from the bed area.
- There should be Nothing on top of Electric blankets.
- Do not allow the electric blanket to be set on high because there is a potential for burns if the senior falls asleep with it on.
- A senior may not feel a burn until it is too late because of reduced circulation.
- Make sure the electric blanket is newer so that it will automatically turn off after a certain period of time.
- Electric blankets should not be tucked-in and the manufacturer’s instructions should be closely followed.
With some common sense and a few precautions, a senior will have a safe and comfortable bedroom. Seniors are often colder because of reduced circulation and sometimes need a little extra warmth for comfort. Give them the comfort and warmth they need but please make sure they do so safely.
My personal thanks to Art Dunn for helping me with extra electrical and lighting information for this article. Art Dunn has worked in various areas of electronics and electricity for over twenty-three years, and has been both a license holder and a qualified individual for California burglar alarm and electrical contractor licenses. His employer, NANLOW-DUNN incorporated www.yourhomeservesyou.com, is an authorized dealer for products such as GrandCare and Home Automation Incorporated and is associated with Connect Home. His E-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.