10 Lesser Known Senior Safety Tips
There is an understandable correlation between the aging of an individual and the stress levels of their family. Thoughts of accidents cause such an overwhelming panic that people tend to overlook the smaller safety details, even though these precautions require just as much attention.
Don’t miss this essential list to 10 lesser-known senior safety tips:
1. Use Motion Sensor Lights
One can never have too many motion sensor lights, inside and out. A cleverly situated row of LED lighting can help to avoid stumbles at night by illuminating the bathroom pathway, while motion-sensing lights installed outside can scare any intruders away. Unfortunately, the elderly are often considered an easy target by criminals, so look carefully at all areas of house protection including alarm systems and multiple locks at every entry point.
2. Inspect Mobility Methods
How does your loved one get around? If they walk with an unstable gait, are they using a cane? If so, is it the correct height? Is their mobility scooter adequate for their needs? Are they still wearing an old pair of shoes? These are important questions you need to address in order to prevent accidents and injuries.
3. Change Transparent Shower Doors
Falls are the leading cause of senior injuries. For this reason, it’s imperative to search the house for potential trip hazards. The bathroom, in particular, is a high-risk environment where liquids regularly meet slippery surfaces, hence why you need to consider every precaution suggested. Non-slip mats, shower chairs, and grab bars are all essential additions, but one overlooked concern is the see-through shower door. With deteriorating eyesight, this seemingly nonexistent panel may be confusing, and a person could accidentally stumble through it. Eradicate this possibility by replacing the door with a more obvious texture, or even stick a big colorful marker upon it at eye level.
4. Keep Important Numbers by the Phone
A simple list of phone numbers situated next to the telephone can simplify someone’s life in a time when they need it the most. Include the digits for the fire department, police, doctor, family, neighbors, or even the grocery delivery service. This solution also makes it easier for someone else to reach out if your loved one is unresponsive.
5. Protect Against the Sun
As skin ages, it tends to lose its elasticity and dry out faster. This means that the elderly need to take extra care in the sunshine, especially considering that more American people get skin cancer than every other cancer combined. Lather on the sunscreen, put on a hat, and protect the eyes with UV resistant sunglasses. This advice does not end at seniors either and should be applied to everyone.
6. Combine Physical and Social Activities
The facts don’t lie, and it is common knowledge that exercise increases life expectancy while loneliness reduces it. Thankfully, there is a way to solve both of these problems at once by encouraging an individual to get involved with senior-specific activity classes. There are so many options available that they’ll find something they love in no time. Ideas include yoga, golfing, aqua aerobics, dancing, or even a casual walk with you.
7. Introduce Plants
By moving nature indoors, the house becomes a welcoming place bursting with life and pleasing colors. Furthermore, the maintenance of these plants initiates a whole new level of responsibility in a senior’s life, giving purpose to their day. For those with a passion for earthly hobbies, why not help them grow a vegetable garden too?
8. Speak to Their Doctor
It’s easy to assume that everything is being cared for, but how much do you actually know? Call up their doctor yourself and ensure that you find out exactly when their last checkup was, and when the next one is due. Query about their current medication, research any potential side effects or warning signs, and perhaps even ask for a reevaluation of their prescription. It’s also a good idea to keep a record of anything you find out and compile a medical history for emergencies.
9. Purchase Fire Extinguishers
It’s important to make sure that your loved one is familiar with the best fire escape route, but in desperate times, the correct equipment could save their lives. Place fire extinguishers next to any high-risk areas, such as the stove or the fireplace. Other necessary fire precautions include a regularly tested smoke detector, replacing any damaged electrical cords, and banning cigarettes for a multitude of reasons.
10. Emergency Response Systems
Nothing will grant you peace of mind like knowing your loved one is wearing a device which can alert you to a problem at the touch of a button. Not to mention that some of the designs these days are quite fashionable, so there’s no excuse to even take it off.