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Assessing an Individual’s Ability to Maintain a Safe Environment

Remember that assessment of an individual’s ability to maintain a safe environment is only part of a holistic nursing assessment and should not be undertaken in isolation without reference to or consideration of the client’s other activities of living.

Specific points to consider when assessing an individual’s ability to maintain a safe environment include:

• Physical
Degree of mobility
Level of consciousness
Level of aggression

• Psychological
Knowledge of condition
Depression
Risk of self-harm
Confusion
Stress
Anxiety
Irritability
Anger

• Sociocultural
Health beliefs and values
Level of family support
Support from external agencies
Hobbies/pastimes

• Environmental
Client awareness of safety issues
Spillages
Confidentiality
Communication systems
Type of accommodation
Ability to negotiate stairs
Type of employment

• Politico-economic
Limited finances/dependants
Living conditions
Employed/unemployed

Tips for child safety
• Lock away all household cleaners and medicines.
• Always keep pet food and water out of reach.
• When travelling by car always secure your children with a seat belt, safety seat or harness.
• Never leave a hot stove or barbecue unattended.
• Always bolt bookshelves to the wall.
• Keep some ipecacuanha syrup in the home to induce vomiting in poisoning.
• Limit exposure to the sun.
• Be sure they know what to do in the event of fire or other emergency.
• Check the recommended age limits for toys.
• Use safety gates on stairways.
• Install covers over unused electrical sockets and do not leave plugged-in appliances such as irons unattended.
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