The concept of nuclear families has also led to a growing number of senior adults and senior citizens living independently. Keeping the elderly safe is an important concern for families and caregivers. This makes it more important to have them protected from all kinds of physical, mental, financial and other kinds of dangers, during such times of solitude.Here are a few safety tips for senior citizens, if you are living alone or want to share with someone you care, living alone.
Safety Tips for Senior Citizens living alone.
1. Safety for seniors within the home – Safety measures at home are of utmost importance, because this is where most senior citizens choose to spend their time the most. Be it bathroom safety for seniors, terrace safety, lawn safety or anywhere else in the house. Home safety for elderly is essential.
Safety tips for senior citizens – Home Safety for Seniors
a) Declutter and keep away things off the ground to prevent falls. As per a survey, one of the leading causes of fractures among the elderly are due to falls.
b) Be sure to have good rugs and carpets, which do not fold easily and are firm with anti-slipping pads.
c) Wear comfortable and sturdy shoes/slippers
d) Keep the edgy poky furniture in the corners
e) Have sufficient lighting in all areas, inside and outside the house. Especially a night lamp and ample lighting in the hallways, stairs and paths.
f) Install a home automation system.
g) Make sure all your appliances are working fine and in good order.
h) Always keep all your medicines handy and a proper safety kit in easy access. Make your close relatives and people who live with you be aware of where your medicines are kept.
i) Have an electronic video surveillance door alarm system, so you can access the door easily and know who is at the door.
j) Keep emergency numbers handy and in speed-dial of your phone. Have at least 3-5 emergency numbers saved.
Safety tips for senior citizens – Bathroom Safety for Seniors
a) Set your water heater temperature adequately. Avoiding extremely heated water will help from burns or scalding.
b) Have grab bars installed at places where you require support from standing or sitting – near shower areas or toilet.
c) Leave a light on, either inside the bathroom or near it during the nights.
d) Make sure all your faucets are working fine and there are no bathroom repairs or plumber activity required. If need be, make sure to complete all such repairs checked and verified during any close relatives or friends’ availability.
e) Use rubber mats in your shower or bathtub to prevent slipping
f) Use toilet seats for easier access, and shower seats if you have trouble standing while showering.
Safety tips for senior citizens – Bedroom Safety for Seniors
a) Have proper and adequate lighting in all areas. Be it the closet, bathroom or outside the bedroom door. In fact, have a bed lamp and switches close to your bed.
b) Make sure electrical devices like AC, heater or T.V are working fine.
c) Make sure the cords are kept securely and do not fall anywhere on ground.
d) Pay attention to the height of your bed. Make sure it’s easy to get up and lay down, without too much efforts or pressure on your legs and knees.
e) Always take time while getting up and down, avoid jerking your back or knees.
f) Keep emergency numbers and a calling device near your bedside
g) Make sure to have emergency medicines near your bedside with a water jug in case of medical emergencies. Either way, makes sure to have 2-3 sets of your medicines at different places in the house.
h) Make sure your balcony doors and windows are locked and secured at all times. While opening, make sure to secure them immediately when not required.
Safety tips for senior citizens – Kitchen Safety for Seniors
a) Declutter the kitchen – Make sure only items and things which you need most often are placed in the kitchen and get away with everything else.
b) Make sure the items you use most frequently are easily accessible and within easy reach, not placing them on high shelves.
c) Make sure all electrical equipment around the kitchen and house work properly. Service them timely if required, to avoid any last-minute hassles.
d) Make sure the kitchen counters are in balance with the height of those using the kitchen the most.
e) Be aware of what goes into your food, check your labels, check for expiry dates, check the vegetables either bought by you or your help.
f) Store sharp knives in a rack.
g) Mark all the kitchen appliances clearly, with on and off buttons.
2. Safety for seniors outside the home – While many seniors prefer staying at one place, others often feel the need to get out of routine to catch up on things they love to do. Most senior citizens feel the need to meet new people, visit social gatherings, hospitals for check-ups and lots more. This makes them prone to a lot of hazards or mishaps outside the home.
Safety tips for senior citizens – Car Safety for Seniors.
a) Whether you are driving or travelling in car, always keep the doors and windows locked. Open windows, only as much as air flow required.
b) Make sure to get your vehicle serviced at regular period intervals.
c) Always make sure you are aware of your roads and drive the distance to and fro, only as much as you are comfortable.
d) Always put on the seat belt.
e) Keep your valuable items, purses and other important belongings away from the open view, and safe in the dashboard, at your foot level or inside the trunk.
f) Park in a well-lit area, as close as possible to your destination.
Safety tips for senior citizens – Outside the home.
a) Avoid walking on slippery surfaces or bare foot outside the house, be it in lawn areas or garden areas.
b) Don’t leave the house keys with unknown or unfamiliar people.
c) Be aware of your surroundings all the time.
d) Try and be around people, in well-ventilated areas.
e) Keep an easy-to-use and light baggage while roaming about outside.
Safety tips for senior citizens – Financial Senior Safety
a) Keep all your valuable possessions in a safe and secure place, like a bank and make a complete list of all that you have kept.
b) Have sufficient and basic financial knowledge. To help you in times of uncertainties and doubts.
c) Do not give out any financial information about yourself to any strangers, neighbours or tele callers.
d) Make sure to check out your bank accounts and transaction information, periodically.
e) Do not entertain sales persons and tele callers, and get the information you require directly from banks.
f) Make sure all your funds and belongings are arranged in a specific manner, giving you maximum returns and availability in times of need.
g) If you plan to take a loan, remember senior citizens have certain privileges. Be sure, know your options, talk to a qualified and knowledgeable representative and then go forward.
h) Make sure you have a designated will ready if you intend to pass on your wealth, with certain copies placed at the right places. One with your lawyer as well. This will help in a calm and peaceful environment, without any legal hassles or family disputes in your golden years.Planning for your post-retirement living is essential, to lead an organized and worry-free life in your years ahead.
Other Safety Tips for the elderly.
a) Have a close group of friends and relatives. Plan activities with them. Confide in them, all your happiness and sorrows. This will also avoid depression and any form of psychological health problems.
b) Know your neighbours very well. Keep them updated with relevant information, be it your medication, emergency numbers, or close family members’ information.
c) Always have friends, family and grandchildren check-in occasionally. This will help neighbours and people around know, you have visitors and people around in your house, also giving you some moments with your loved ones.
d) Don’t call in for couriers, packages, milk or things delivered when you are unavailable at home.
Most of all, always keep your spirits high! Stay in good health and in a joyful mood. Enjoy the little pleasures of life and do what you love doing the most. While age hits all of us, the art is in having certain precautionary and preventive measures ready, yet leading a balanced, normal and happy life.