If you are caring for a senior citizen, or are one yourself, you know the risks involved with hazards around the home. We have some tips to keep you and any seniors in your life safe.
Making Your Home Safer
One of the main causes of broken bones in the elderly is falling. There are several things you can do to help prevent falls in the home. If you are a senior or a caregiver for a senior, the best thing to do is take an inventory of the house; simple things around the home may be “accidents waiting to happen.” Here are some potential hazards and easy fixes.
- Storage – When storing items, whether food or dishes in the kitchen or a blanket in a closet, don’t put them on the top shelf. Trying to reach for something too high, or using an unsteady chair to get to the items, may be asking for a fall. Keeping items at an easy-to-reach level is ideal. For those items you don’t use as often, have a friend or family member get them down when they are needed instead of risking a fall.
- Wires – Wires and cables coming from the television or computer can be a tripping hazard. Tying them together and keeping them out of walking paths can help prevent falls. Make sure you keep in mind that you want them clear from not only foot traffic, but walkers, canes, and wheelchairs as well.
- Bathrooms – The tub and shower should have rubber grips placed in the bottom, in order to not slip while bathing or showering. Also, have handrails installed for a secure hold in the shower or tub. Medical supply companies carry the bathroom safety products you will need.
- Floor Rugs – If there are rugs that slide on the floor, using two-sided tape or a non-slip underlay could make them more secure and less of a hazard.
- Darkness – Getting around in the dark is not easy for anyone. Placing a night light in the bathrooms and bedrooms could help someone avoid a fall if they get up during the night.
- Pets – As valuable as pet companionship is, it is important they are trained well enough to sit, stay, and heal, to help prevent them from getting underfoot and causing a fall.
Senior citizens with limited walking abilities or health problems would be wise to subscribe to a monitoring system that alerts family members and rescue teams in case of emergency. Just knowing that there is help on the way with a push of a button can be reassuring.
It is important to be aware of scams. If someone calls or sends an email with an offer that is “too good to be true,” it most likely is. Don’t fall victim; never give your personal information out to anyone on the phone or internet.
Staying Safe Outside the Home
Not only should you consider safety in the home, but also when you’re out. Here are some safety tips that apply to anyone, of any age.
- Parking Garages/Parking Lots – Park where there is good lighting in shopping mall parking lots if you don’t plan to return to your car before dark. If it’s dark, or you feel insecure, ask a security guard to walk you to your car.
- Going for a Walk – There’s truth in the saying “two is better than one.” Take a friend and have the buddy system for more fun and safety, as well. It’s better to have a friend along, as time passes more quickly, as well as having the added security.
- Lock Your Car – Many of us utilize the drive-in window at our bank, which is great and convenient. However, parking somewhere afterwards to count our money can be a temptation to someone looking to get your cash. Lock the car door anytime you are parked inside your car for any period of time and stay in well-lit areas.
- Cell Phones – Don’t be tempted to talk or text on your cell phone while driving. Your cell phone is your personal answering machine – your messages will be there when you arrive safely at your destination.
These are some of our best tips to keep you and your loved ones safe. What safety advice do you have to keep safe, either in the home or when you’re out?
This is a guest article by Pat Brownlee. She writes for Blog4Safety, a site with free daily safety tips. Her parent company, Texas America Safety Company, is located in Brownwood, Texas.
Image taken from Securalogix.com