Many elderly and seniors do not take their safety as seriously as they should. They think that because they have never had a problem or incident before, they won’t ever have one. Many people will not do anything about their safety until after a safety issue occurs. However, as a senior it is important that you think prevention. Safety in your home should be a priority.
Many seniors face serious problems because of something simple like a fall. In fact, falls are one of the leading problems facing the older person. Many times injury from falls leads to permanent disability, effectively ending a person’s active, independent lifestyle. And, many of these falls were easily preventable, and would not have happened if the senior would have taken their safety more seriously.
The older population’s risk of falling is related to three influences: the normal aging progress, pathology that increases with age, and environmental conditions. Falling is not because you are uncoordinated. Falling is something that happens as you age because of normal alterations in vision, gait, posture, hearing, and cognition. These changes may increase incidence of falls.
As you age your muscles weaken, your reflexes and reactions slow, your vision and hearing begin to become impaired. These are all reasons safety should be taken seriously because you are not as safe as you once were. In addition, the elderly also have a higher incidence of chronic illness, which can affect your functional capabilities.
So, with this in mind, it is time to set up a rule. Because your risk of injury, and the consequences of medical emergencies, slips, falls, etc. are much higher as you age, the rule is that you must practice good safety habits and stay alert even when performing the most mundane tasks.
So what are some things you can do to take your safety seriously?
• Consider hiring a safety consultant to come in and make your home more senior living appropriate. They will do things like install grab bars in the bath and shower areas so that you have something to hold on to and support yourself with. They may get you taller toilets that are easier to get in and out of. There are many simple changes that can be made to help with your safety. Even moving items from a low shelf to one at eye level can increase your safety as a senior. They are professionals, and will talk with you and address the needs and safety issues specific to you.
• Lock your doors. Seniors are often the targets and victims of theft. So, stay safe and protect yourself from this growing problem by keeping your door and windows locked, your outdoor areas well lit, and by being smart about who you let into your home.
• Create a checklist so you never have to worry about fires, etc. This checklist is going to help you stay on top of your game even when you are starting to forget things. Your checklist should include things like making sure the stove is turned off, making sure you have non-slip rugs near sinks and toilets, wearing rubber soled shoes to decrease your chance of falling, etc.
Your independence is important, so take your safety seriously so you can stay healthy and independent for as long as possible.