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By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – One of the most dangerous places for a senior citizen could be what is considered to be the safest place — the home. That’s right. If a home is not made safe for an elderly person it can pose a tremendous threat.

Think about it logically. When young children are being raised many families try to childproof the house. Padding is placed around the fireplace, safety caps are put on the electrical outlets and dangerous substances are put in hard to reach places. We should approach an elderly person the same way.

One of the big things that have to be considered is lighting. If there are not bright lights there is a greater chance for a person to fall.

Another concern is to make certain that throw rugs are removed. Throw rugs can slide along the floor and this is a common cause of falls. Another big worry is the medicine cabinet. There should be a careful inventory of medications that are being taken to reduce the chances of drug interactions or taking the wrong dosage of a drug.

It is also a good idea to see if there are medications that have been left there for years and are expired.

Think about it. We worry about the elderly when they travel and are out and about, but home could pose the greatest risks.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor

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