Look at the photo, what do you see?  The front door is on the other side of the cabinet.   The FRONT door, where Emergency Medical Service personnel will come in to help.  There are items spread all out, no huge piles, it doesn’t seem too bad…but it is!!

When I enter a home to do my initial assessment I am mainly looking at the safety of the environment: the physical safety of the people living in the home, the safety of people entering the home and working in the home, the brain health of the occupants meaning is there an outside influence? I will make suggestions right off the bat.  Safety first, always.

First thing to take a look at is creating a clear path to an exit.  It may seem obvious or you think: I can get around that pile, well don’t count on it.  In the heat of an emergency you can forget your own name let alone how to get out of a dangerous situation.  Ensure that all exits have a clear, unencumbered path leading out.  Do not leave items in an exit path thinking you can step on them if you had to.  In the case of an emergency, they can become the biggest obstacle between you living and dying.  You can slip on an area rug, clothing, drapes, any kind of plastic, containers that can hold things like buckets or food containers, newspapers, magazines, cans, bottles and fall making all the difference in getting out the door or being trapped.

People have good intentions and create piles of things that must be dealt with so they place them in the hallway.  Ask yourself, could an EMS stretcher get down that hallway?  If someone came to assist you could they get the two of you out and past furniture and accumulation of items with plenty of elbow room and nothing to slip on?

Plan with “what if” scenarios in mind.  You will feel so relieved you did and that you were prepared if the time ever comes.

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