As technology increases, more seniors are able to live at home alone. The good news is that risks are being reduced, but not eliminated. It is important to remind those seniors close to us, and for whom we care about greatly, to be more aware of their surroundings and understand where the highest fall-prone areas are, and other areas of hazard concerns.
Bathrooms are one of the highest fall-prone areas in a home. Make sure all items are off the floor and put away in cabinets, labels can be used to make finding objects easy. Lighting should be optimized for any vision issues. Use a nightlight or light the path with some sort of light in order to refrain from being in the dark, throughout the entire living space. Using the new LED bulbs insures very long life with no maintenance concerns. Install bars in the tub or shower with a showerhead you can manipulate.
Kitchens are another area of great concern. Avoid hot surfaces and appliances in the kitchen. If vision is an issue stoves can be marked with colored reflective tape found in your local hardware store. Double check that all appliances are turned off when not in use. If reminders are needed, put the reminders in visible spots like a mirror or on a nightstand. Never leave food unattended and keep several fire extinguishers handy in case you ever need to use it, and, learn how to use it.
When venturing out for a trip, be sure to watch steps carefully. At home, steps can be marked with reflective strips on the steps and risers. If you are still driving, be careful when you enter and exit a vehicle - another place where colored reflective markings may be helpful. Try to avoid driving at night or in weather that is not suitable for safe driving. Don't drive if you've taken medication or if you're tired.
Other Safety Tips:
Keep emergency numbers in large print near each phone. Put a phone near the floor in case you fall and can’t get up. And, think about wearing an alarm device that will bring help in case you fall and can’t get up.
According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injury death in older adults.Keeping these tips in mind will save a lot of trouble in the long run. Prevention is the best way to avoid a fall, so please take necessary precautions.