Preventing safety problems is the best thing you can do for yourself as a senior who wants to live at home and maintain independence. There are a number of common problems elderly face, and some good ways to prevent these problems:
The older population’s risk of falling is usually caused by three things: the normal aging progress, pathology that increases with age, and environmental conditions.
The fact is that as people get older their vision, , posture, hearing, cognition, and other factors are altered, and this can increase the incidences of falls. So what once would not have been harmful to someone, can be potentially dangerous to them as they age. For example, a person may not have the muscle strength or reflex reaction to avoid a fall after an unexpected trip. Another example is that often times as you age your eyesight gets poor, and this impaired vision may interfere with your ability to avoid obstacles.
There are many other reasons that elderly and seniors are at risk for falls much more than someone else. These include environmental factors, their medications, and more.
Since a fall can be very dangerous to a senior as they have more brittle bones and thin skin, it is good to do what you can to prevent falls and accidents.
Some of the things you can do include:
• Wear rubber soled shoes.
• Secure any throw rugs securely to the floor
• Have non-slip surfaces in bathrooms and kitchens
• Keep stairs well lit.
• Have grab bars in tubs and showers.
• Clean up any spills immediately.
• Keep things you use often in easy to reach places.
Preventing a serious medical emergency is a good idea for all seniors, but especially for seniors living along. One great plan for prevention is to choose a medical alert company. Instead of waiting for an accident to happen where you can’t get help quickly, prevent that problem by choosing a company to monitor your home. This can be a medical alert company that gives you a pendant to wear in the shower, in case of a fall, or a neighborhood sponsored program that has regular visits and checkups scheduled to ensure you are not left lying alone on your floor for hours if you were to fall or have some other problem.
If you want to prevent a fire in your home, do the typical things like have smoke detectors installed, and make sure they have working batteries. However, it is also a good idea to mark the off position on your stove top very clearly so that impaired vision does not become a reason for a house fire. Also, make sure your hair is tied back if it is long and you are cooking. Do not wear loose fitting clothing near gas burners. Make sure there is nothing flammable close by. Etc.
Besides having safe habits, it is also smart to regularly evaluate yourself, and whether or not you are capable of living alone. It is understandable to want your independence, but it is important to consider safety first, and prevent problems from happening. If you find you are struggling with simple tasks, preventing a problem might mean getting in home care, or moving to a nursing facility.
So, discuss your lifestyle with your doctor. Have your vision and hearing checked regularly. Have regular eye examinations and keep glasses clean and in good condition. These things will help you know if you are physically capable of taking care of yourself.
Next, make sure you know and understand the side effects of your medication. If they make you dizzy after taking them, you need to know that so you are not up walking around, as you will fall.
These are three areas where prevention is the best thing for senior safety in the home.