Senior safety at home is a real concern. There are several issues to worry about if you are a senior that you may not have needed to worry about as much previously. The following are some tips in areas of each of these issues:
The fact is that elderly people experience more fires than not-elderly people. Usually this is because often cognition is decreased as you age, vision and hearing become impaired etc. Protect yourself and your home from fires with these helpful tips:
• Test your smoke detectors once a month to make sure they work. Replace smoke detector batteries twice a year.
• Keep a fire extinguisher on every floor in the house, and one near the stove in the kitchen.
• Have a cognitive plan for fire escape routes.
• Obtain an escape ladder for bedrooms located on the 2nd floor or higher.
• Test to make sure you can open your windows easily.
• Make sure burners are turned off after use. Mark the off position clearly so that even if you have impaired eye sight you will get it right.
• Keep and store flammable materials in a safe place, away from heat, wires, etc.
• Eliminate fire hazards in your home.
Slips and Falls:
As people age their chances of slipping and falling increase due to vision impairment, hearing impairment, loss of cognition, loss of balance, decreased muscle strength, etc. As a senior, slips and falls are even more dangerous because bones start to become brittle and skin gets thinner. So here are some tips for fall prevention:
• Wear thin rubber soled shoes with shallow treads, they won’t slip on typically slippery surfaces, and the tread won’t catch rugs and make you trip.
• Pick up your feet when walking – walk heel-toe, this may be awkward at first but will really help.
• Install and use handrails in areas that are difficult to maneuver.
• Focus, do not let yourself get in too big of a hurry, as rushing can cause accidents.
• Remove slipping/tripping hazards immediately, especially items such as rugs, toys, wires, cords, etc.
• Install grab bars around your tub or shower
• Use non-skid strips or tub mats around sinks and toilets and tubs.
• Keep regularly used items in easy to reach places.
• Keep a phone nearby in case of an accident.
As you age you become more susceptible to chronic illness, and more likely to be injured in a fall etc. So, these things qualify as medical emergencies. To help protect yourself from these consider the following:
• Use a medical emergency response program like Pioneer Emergency First Alert so that you are never alone and hurt and unable to get to a phone for help.
• Have people check in on you regularly, or stay busy enough that someone will notice if you stay in.
• Have a list of all medications you are taking on your person, so should you have an emergency your medical history and medications are easy to find.
• Keep emergency contact numbers on hand and easy to get to.
• Make sure you know the side effects of any medications you are on.
These are just a few tips for senior safety, but take your safety seriously and you will live a longer, happier, healthier, and much more enjoyable life without the fear of lying helpless on the floor, or the pain of having bruised and broken bones.