Safety for Seniors: Aging Safe

safety for seniors

Everyone deserves a safe place.

Safety for Seniors

Safety for seniors is one of the most important issues facing handymen, handywomen, builders and every other professional in the field of home services.

The majority of seniors want to age at home, as most of us would. This raises a few important issues, however:

  1. The elderly are at a much higher risk of being injured in household accidents.
  2. Most seniors are unable to handle the necessary repairs and maintenance, particularly if they are living alone. With major contractors uninterested in changing light bulbs and repairing door handles, who can they trust?

In the timeless words of Stan Lee: “With great power comes great responsibility.” It is our responsibility as tradespeople to protect and care for our elderly.

We may not be able to contribute our labour, but we have contributed our time and knowledge. If you’re interested in  safety for seniors, read on.

LIGHTING

overhead lighting kitchen

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), no less than 20% of falls occur at night. Simple lighting solutions can prevent such events from happening:

  1. Install overhead lighting in every room and additional lights where daily tasks such as cooking, eating and reading take place.
  2. Install lights at the top and bottom of every staircase in the home.
  3. Position an overhead light above the front door, so as to allow you to see who is knocking at any given time.

FLOORS AND STAIRS

The Royal Society for Accident Prevention (ROSPA) states“Falls are the most common accidents, which can cause serious injury at any time of life. The risk increases with age.”

In establishing safety for seniors in a home, floors and stairs are key areas to focus on:

  1. The best flooring options available for seniors are linoleum and vinyl, as they are very low-maintenance. Add textured strips in order to create traction and prevent slips.
  2. Remove any high thresholds at room entrances. These are among the most common tripping hazards.
  3. All staircases should be flat, their presence indicated by colour. Railings should be added as well.

By adding a light fixture, as well as switches to the top and bottom of  your staircase (as mentioned above), you will have ensured optimal safety when the stairs are in use.

AROUND THE HOME

There are many small additions you can make around your home to ensure the best possible safety for seniors.

  1. In the kitchen, check to see the height of all cabinetry, and if it is easily accessible. All faucets, handles, and knobs should be easily maneuverable. The kitchen space should be compact to eliminate any unneeded movement.
  2. All window fixtures use drapes or curtains, rather than blinds, as they are easier to open and close.
  3. In the washrooms, install grab bars around all necessary fixtures, such as the sink, toilet, and bath tub.

By using these simple tips, and doing some research, you can provide an older loved one with a secure living space. Go through the home, inspect, and run through a checklist. If you feel that something is missing, or would like to add or improve an item in the home, please contact Odd Job today. Our handymen would love to optimize any space to provide the needed home safety for seniors.

If you need help improving your living space, or that of a loved one, contact us for a free estimate and fill out our online “book-a-handyman” form. Our team is on the job.

Power Wash Your Deck the Better Way!

POWER WASH YOUR SPRING SPACE!

Power Wash, Deck Cleaning, Porch Cleaning

Your deck or porch can look this beautiful too!

Spring has arrived — before you entertain guests, or enjoy those relaxing moments outside, why not freshen up your deck or porch with a power wash system from Odd Job? Our handymen will arrive onsite with our specialized equipment, using our process to have your space looking as good as new without damaging the wood from over-pressure, as some companies do.

Don’t wait–give your porch or deck that brand new look with a spring cleaning  from the pros at Odd Job! Book us today! Remember…keep calm. Spring is here!

Energy Saving Tips from Odd Job

Home Energy Saving Tips:

 

energy saving tipsSpring is coming and by following these helpful energy saving tips, you will save your money and keep yourself comfy at the same time.  If you don’t have the time or the tools to tackle any of these projects, fear not: the pros at Odd Job know exactly what you need and how to do it. We are here to help you every step of the way.

1. Consider installing items such as dimmer switches and timers to help you conserve power.

2. When replacing light bulbs in pot lighting or recessed fixtures, keep LEDs in mind. They can provide focused lighting, and last  30x longer than incandescent bulbs.

3.  By adding weatherstripping to your home, you can reduce drafts, and save on heating.

4. Use pipe wrap–it will reduce heat loss and bring hot water to your faucet and shower faster, and will also save electricity related to water heating (Note: do not insulate plastic pipes.)

By incorporating the following energy saving tips in your homeyou can save money for all of your future home projects!

Stay tuned for our next helpful advice and tips! If you’d like to bring our resources and expertise to your home, just fill out our online “book-a-handyman” form and place your project in professional hands!

 

Top Ten Tools Every Homeowner Should Have

Top Ten Tools: The Basic Must-Haves for Handymen and Homeowners Alike!

top ten tools

Ten indispensable tools that our professional handymen are using and that you should have!

Getting a basic toolkit together is easy! Justin, the expert behind Odd Job Handyman Services, lays out the top ten tools that everyone, handyman or homeowner, should have. and explains why every home-owner should have one of their own.

10. Channel-lock pliers
While not a multifunctional tool, it is the only thing that will do the trick when you need to get into the drain under the sink. Go ahead, be the hero who can rescue a dropped earring from the j-trap!

9. A Utility Knife.
Also known as a box-cutter, this will always have an undisputed place among the top ten tools. Be sure to get a knife with a retractable blade, one that is replaceable. That way, you can always use a clean, sharp edge. Utility knives are inexpensive, but they’ll cut through most materials, from moving boxes, to carpet, to thin wood veneer.

8. Adjustable Crescent Wrenches. 
Every tool kit should have adjustable wrenches in two sizes: a 6” and a 14”. Because not every bolt comes loose with the twist of an Alan-Key.

7. Strong Pliers with Built-in Wire Cutters.
Pliers allow you to get a grip where your fingers might not – tight spaces, sharp or heated surfaces. Not to mention that you can bend, strip and cut materials safely and easily with a good set of pliers.

6. A Drill/Driver Combination Tool. Essential to anchoring frames on the wall, everyone should make this their first power tool purchase. Get a combination drill and driver tool that can drill holes in the wall with a drill bit, then seamlessly get to work fastening with flat- and phillips-head attachments.

5. A Tape Measure.
Pick up a tape that’s at least 25 feet long one inch wide. This will be big enough to measure most things and strong enough not to bend for up to 8 ft.

4. A Laser Level.
Sure, you can pick up a cheap plastic level at the Dollar Store, but a savvy homeowner will invest the money in a laser level. You’ll get hands-free, precision accuracy every time, and you don’t have to keep sliding and readjusting as you work along larger surfaces.

3. A Multi-head Screwdriver.
These little guys come with different tips to accommodate different screws.  Ensure that the set you choose has various sized Phillips (cross-shaped), Robertson (square-shaped) and flat heads.

2. A Sturdy Hammer.
The 16oz Rip Claw Hammer would be my tool of choice. It’s a sturdy hammer that is easy to control.

1. My Card!

That’s right – we’ve listed the top ten tools, and number one is, hands down, the Odd Job Team. Property owners, real estate brokers and thousands of homeowners will attest to this, alongside brands like Shoppers Drug Mart, Burberry, Holt Renfrew and LensCrafters.

Sure, it’s great to handle the small stuff on your own, but every homeowner will be faced with projects they shouldn’t tackle alone. That’s where we come in! If your task has taken you beyond these basic tools, give my team of experts a call at 416-520-1161 or use our online “book-a-handyman” form.

Is it time for Baby Proofing at your home?

Baby Proofing for your Home

Is your little one fast asleep?

Great, let’s play the baby proofing game. Get down on the ground, sit or lie down if you can. Now look at the room you’re in from this new perspective. Are there lots of interesting things on the ground? If you needed to pull yourself up right now, what’s handy? What’s small enough to put in your mouth? What’s big enough to get your hand into? What else do you see from your baby’s vantage?

What needs Baby Proofing?

It’s important to be through on baby proofing your home to ensure it’s a safe environment for your toddler to explore. While your baby is gearing up to go mobile, Odd Job can help make your home safer by:

  • Installing safety latches on kitchen and bathroom cabinets and drawers to keep children from exploring. This will prevent them from finding potentially poisonous household products, kitchen and bathroom appliances, knives, etc. Consider adding drawer locks in a home office as well.
  • Securing all bookcases, shelving, and heavy furniture to walls with brackets and anchors to prevent it from tipping over. Toddlers learning to stand and walk tend to pull themselves up by whatever they can grab, so make sure that what they reach for won’t come tumbling down on them. When storing items, put heavier items on bottom shelves and in bottom drawers for stability.
  • Installing locks to chest freezers and any extra refrigerators to prevent children from exploring and getting trapped.
  • Installing door closers on doors that lead to basements, garages, pools and other hazard rooms. This will close the door behind you, even if you have your hands full.
  • Installing or repairing a fence and gates to enclose your yard and keep your kids safely at home.
  • Installing toilet locks to keep toilet lids closed. Children are more top-heavy than adults and can lean and fall into a toilet easily. They also can drown in just one inch of water.
  • Upgrading electrical outlets near water sources to those with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), which turn off electricity if appliances fall into water.
  • Installing safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs and in the doorways of rooms with hazards. While gates with expanding pressure bars are great for doorways, they should not be used for blocking stairs.
  • Installing corner and edge bumpers on furniture and other items like a fireplace hearth to protect against injury.
  • Replacing old windows or adding stops to the frame so that the window cannot be opened wide enough for a child to fall through.
  • Replacing any old or broken blinds, shades, and draperies. Install blinds that lock when fully up or down and avoid looped pull cords as they can be a strangulation hazard.

If it’s time to any of these or any other baby proofing upgrades to your home, call Odd Job at 416-520-1161, or book online. We look forward to working for you.

The Amazing Work of the Ikea Hackers

As hands-on, creative people, we love Ikea Hackers – a blog dedicated to customizing and making the most of the “Build-it-Yourself” furniture.

Ikea hackers use a shoe rack to hang a flat screen TV.

Ikea Hackers Bar

Ikea Hackers turn bookshelves into a fab bar.

Have you been inspired by Ikea Hackers but don’t have the skills to pull off the “hack” yourself? Give us a call at 416-520-1161 to discuss the project, or just use our super-simple online “book-a-handyman” form.

For Seniors: Our List of Services

Updating your home as you age allows you to continue living with independence and comfort. Odd Job can help you:

  • add or update handrails in your stairways and bathrooms
  • updating your front or back porch to include an accessibility ramp
  • lowering existing counters/cupboards
  • installing adjustable counters/cupboards
  • light switches and electrical outlets placed in accessible locations
  • door locks that are easy to operate
  • lever handles on doors and taps, instead of knobs
  • non-slip flooring in the bathroom
  • a hand-held shower on an adjustable rod or high-low mounting brackets
  • additional light fixtures throughout the home and exterior entrances
  • touch-and-release drawers and cupboards
  • automatic garage door openers

Be sure to check out the Government of Ontario’s Healthy Homes Tax Credit. Many of these renovations can be claimed!