Many old Americans prefer living at home to an assisted living facility or care home, but it does pose some safety risks. Seniors are more likely to be targeted by criminals, as well as have an increased risk of falls, burns, and even poisoning.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the best tips for preserving seniors’ safety.
Emergency numbers should be kept in a highly visible position and written in large font in case eyesight becomes an issue. Seniors safety can be increased if emergency services are easy to access. Here is a list of important emergency numbers:
- Poison Control – 1-800-222-1222
- Nearby next of kin like a family member or friend
- Contact information of the resident’s primary care doctor
Organizing a residence the right way can go a long way to increasing seniors safety. Hallways and stairs should always be kept clear of any possible obstacles. Lighting is also important. In hallways, for example, make sure that light switches are easily accessible from both ends. Tripping hazards like rugs can be dangerous. Taping them down can help mitigate this risk.
One of the most common injuries for seniors is falling. Those who struggle with coordination or balance are especially at risk. After having a fall, there is a very high risk of a repeat accident. Because of this, it’s important to address any concerns about balance or falling with a doctor to maintain seniors’ safety. It may be worth investigating getting a wearable alarm that can contact and dispatch emergency services in the event of a fall where you can’t reach a phone.
It’s important to acknowledge the risk of falling in any situation that requires fast movement like answering a phone or the door. Never run to answer the phone or the door, take it as slow as you need to be safe. Carrying a cellphone may be a better option than using a landline.
Other seniors’ safety precautions may include using non-slip footwear like slippers or using a cane or a walker to move around your home.
Fire safety is important for everyone, but especially for seniors’ safety. Here are some of the most important steps to preventing home fires:
- Avoid wearing loose clothing near a flame or heat source like a stove.
- Use electronics safely. Don’t overload sockets, and check cords regularly for exposed wires or signs of fraying. If you see the damage, stop using, and replace them immediately.
- Regularly test your smoke detectors and keep spare batteries on hand.
- Don’t leave flames like candles unattended.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Keep heat sources like space heaters a minimum distance of three feet away from any flammable materials.
Even with the best prevention, accidents can still happen, so it’s important to have an emergency fire escape plan. Seniors should always keep at least to exits clear so they can escape in the event of a fire to and call 911.
Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that’s almost undetectable until it’s too late. It’s important to install carbon monoxide alarms and regularly test them to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Seniors’ safety from criminals can always be achieved by securing doors and windows and never giving away personal information to strangers over the phone. Don’t feel pressured to answer your door to strangers either, and always consult with a friend or family member before signing any papers.
Independence can be great for seniors, and it can be achieved safely as long as they are aware of the dangers and how to deal with them. For more help with seniors’ hearing services, contact Countryside Hearing Aid Services.
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