The world becomes a little more of a dangerous place the older you get. As your balance, strength, hearing and vision begin to diminish, the number of threats to your personal safety rises.
June is National Safety Month, but senior adults can benefit year-round from some basic safety tips. Whether you’re in the comfort of your own home, driving around town or outside in the elements, there are plenty of things you can do to decrease the risk of injury, illness or worse.
The Risk of Slips and Falls
Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries in older adults. But many of these falls can be prevented.
- Any ramps that have replaced stairs should feature a nonslip surface and not be too steep.
- Walkways and floors should be kept free of clutter.
- Handrails on stairways should be strong enough to support the full weight of an adult.
- Rugs, doormats and runners should be secured to the floor with doublesided sticky tape or rubber matting.
- Use nightlights in the bedroom, hallway and bathroom.
- Handrails should be installed in the shower/bathtub and along the sides of the toilet.
Home Security for Seniors
Seniors can be popular targets for burglars and there are some things older homeowners should do to protect themselves and their property.
- Always keep the door locked, no matter how safe the neighborhood may be.
- Never keep keys under doormats or hidden in plants. Entrust a family
member or close neighbor with a spare key instead.
- Make sure the front door has a peephole. While decorative glass looks nice,
it does not offer the same level of privacy and security as a peephole.
- Consider investing in a home security system or sensor lighting.
General Home Safety Tips
Your home may feel like the safest place you can be. But the average house is actually filled with threats and dangerous hazards.
- Heavier kitchen items like pots, pans and appliances should be stored on the lowest shelves.
- Keep phone numbers for the local police and fire department next to the phone.
- At least one smoke detector should be present on every floor of the home and should be tested at least once a month. Batteries should be replaced at least twice a year.
- Use clear and brightly-colored labels to mark "on" and "off" and "cold" and "hot" functions on appliances and faucets.
- Make sure space heaters remain at least three feet from any piece of furniture, rug or curtain.
Keep these tips in mind to lower your risk for injuries and accidents while
increasing your overall well-being.