Health and Safety Tips
Even at home, a patient may be prone to danger as his/her illness progresses. It is vital to follow these steps for your safety.
Follow these guidelines for fire safety:
- Be sure all smoke detectors are in working order. Install smoke detectors if there are none.
- Arrange for regular maintenance of your heat source. Install a carbon monoxide detector for extra protection.
- Keep portable heaters at least 3 feet away from people and objects. Never dry clothes on heaters.
- If you do smoke, be sure to use large, deep ashtrays and never leave smoking materials unattended. Never smoke in bed or if drowsy. Never smoke while using oxygen. If you must smoke, turn the oxygen equipment completely off and wait 15 minutes before smoking.
- Store flammable materials away from heat sources.
Follow these guidelines for electrical safety:
- Throw away or repair frayed or damaged electrical cords.
- Never overload electrical outlets.
- Keep electrical appliances away from the sink, tub and shower area.
In the bathroom:
- Install safety rails on the tub and toilet
- Put a mat with rubber backing near the tub and toilet
- Use a raised toilet seat to make coming to a standing
- Position easier or talk with a hospice nurse about getting a bedside commode
- Consider bath benches and shower curtains instead of shower doors
- Use non-slip treads in the tub or shower
- Always make sure the floor is dry
- Ask your hospice team for advice on how to safely take a bath.
On the stairway:
- Keep stairways well-lit
- Install handrails
- Put a strip of white tape across the edge of the last step to make it easier to see
- Keep stairways clear and carpeting well-secured
- Side-step up or down the stairs while keeping both hands on the rail
- Put the bathtub-type, non-slip tread on the hand rail to give yourself a warning that you’re at the last step
- Apply a non-slip surface to stairs without carpeting.
In the bedroom:
- Put a light switch at the door to prevent accidents in a dark room
- Avoid hazardous placement of furniture
- Make sure lamp or light switches are within reach of the bed
- Keep a phone within reach of your bed or close to the floor in case of an emergency
- Keep bedding out of the way when the bed is turned down. This will prevent you from tripping on the bed clothes.
Medicine Use Safety Tips
Follow these tips for medicine safety.
- Look at the medicine.
If it doesn’t look like what you usually take, ask why. It might be a generic or it might be the wrong medicine.
- Read the label.
Read the label every time and follow the directions carefully.
- Take as directed.
Do not chew, crush or break any capsules or tablets unless your hospice nurse or pharmacist says it’s safe.
- Take with water.
Always take your medicine with 6 to 8 ounces of water, unless your hospice nurse or pharmacist tells you differently.
- Measure correctly.
Use an approved medicine measuring device to measure liquid medicines.
- Store safely.
Store medicine out of reach of children and away from household chemicals.
- Never take someone else’s medicine.
- Get rid of medicines properly.
Never save leftover medicines. For more information, see the following section on how to get rid of your medicines safely.
Levels of Hospice Care
This type of care is provided wherever the patient is living.
This type of care is provided to patient when he/she needs close attention especially during crisis period.
This type of care is provided when the family or a caregiver needs rest from caregiving responsibilities.
This type of care is provided in a hospital, nursing home or facility where a patient’s safety can be managed.
- PDR.net – The Most Trusted Source for FDA-approved Drug Labeling for Physicians and Prescriberswww.pdr.net
- American Society of Health-System Pharmacistswww.safemedication.com
- National Association of Boards of Pharmacywww.nabp.net
- U.S. Food and Drug Administrationwww.fda.gov
- Institute for Safe Medication Practiceswww.ismp.org
- Consumer Healthcare Products Associationwww.chpa-info.org
- RxList – The Internet Drug Index for prescription drugs, medications and pill identifierwww.rxlist.com