June is National Safety Month. Following are some practical tips to keep our aging family members living on their own safe, and contribute to their well-being.
This might surprise you – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more than a third of adults ages 65 and older fall each year. Statistics show that every 18 to 20 seconds an older adult ends up in the emergency room because of a fall, many of which happen in their own homes.
Most elderly people living at home do not take the appropriate safeguards within their home to reduce the risk of falling. This month is a great time to stop by the homes of aging parents, neighbors and others within our communities and do a home safety assessment.
Sheena Jaffer, CASP, CAPS, ASA Member and graduate of ASA’s 2012 Leadership Academy, is pursuing her lifelong calling to be an advocate for elders has 12 useful tips to help keep our aging parents and family members safe and living at their homes. While this list may not encompass every potential hazard, it will serve as a good, practical start.
- Keep a printed list of emergency and family phone numbers in large font. Inserted in a clear plastic sleeve close to the telephone, in the bedroom and-or kitchen.
- Place lamps and a cordless phone within easy reach of the bed or often-used chair.
- Ensure there is a clear pathway between the bedroom and bathroom.
- Set up nightlights in the bedroom and bathroom.
- Keep a flashlight close to the bedside and another in the kitchen in case of emergencies.
- Discard all throw rugs.
- Ensure suitable chair heights, including tub and toilet seats.
- Double check shoes for proper fit, preferably they are low heels and slippers with non-skid soles.
- Ensure there is a long-handled shoehorn to assist putting on footwear.
- Organize clothes and necessities so they are within easy reach.
- Maintain assistance devices, such as walkers, canes, wheelchairs and others in good working order.
- Explore the latest safety and security assistance technologies that might facilitate an optimal quality of life.
Did you find this list to be helpful? Pass it on to family and friends!