Posted on: 17 January 2017
You might find yourself concerned about an elderly family member who lives alone, particularly if they happen to be suffering from slight dementia. They can still live independently, but there are a few things you might want to help them with concerning the electricity in their home. So how can you help them to remain safe?
In the Kitchen
Safety in the kitchen can be a worry if you have an elderly family member who might be affected by dementia. There's a simple gadget that allows them to live independently while staying safe. A qualified electrician can supply and install an electric oven guard. This is attached to the oven and can be set to a maximum cooking time, meaning that if your family member simply forgets that they have left the oven on, it will automatically switch off after the designated operation time. This essentially cuts the risk of a fire. If your family member has a gas oven, you should see if the model allows for a gas isolation valve to be fitted. Again, this will turn itself off after a designated operation time. Other key appliances in the kitchen (such as the kettle and coffee maker) should have an automatic switch-off, so that they turn themselves off when they have reached the required temperature.
Other Parts of the Home
If your family member has been living in their home for a considerable period of time, you will need to ensure that the home's electrical components are safe. So how can you do this?
- You might want to inspect other key appliances in your elderly family member's home, replacing them if they are too old to be considered safe.
- Check the fuse box to see if their home has a residual-current device. This can prevent electric shock, but has only been mandatory in Australia on power circuits installed after 1991. Older homes might not have them. They can be retrofitted to existing fuse boxes.
- Ensure that smoke alarms are installed and working. Make a note of the date that the batteries need to be changed, as you might need to do this yourself.
- In considerably older homes, it might have been quite some time since the home's electrics have been inspected. It can be wise to arrange this with an electrician to make sure that nothing else in the home needs to be replaced. Ask around—a senior citizen's discount might be available.
By making a few easy checks, you can ensure that your elderly family member can continue to live safely and independently.Share