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Tips to Keep Seniors Safe While Aging in Place

The National Safety Council has designated June as National Safety Month. So now is a good time of year to conduct those important safety checks to help your senior loved ones age in place safely. Whether you live close by or you oversee caregiving from a distance, spending time now in preparing your loved one’s home for safety and for any possible emergencies is time well spent and will bring you and your family peace of mind.

The National Safety Council recommends the following steps to keep our senior loved ones safe:

  1. Do a walk-through of your senior’s home. Check safety locks, first aid supplies and smoke alarms replacing worn out batteries. Correct anything you see that is malfunctioning or install it if missing.
  2. Make a family emergency plan listing where your senior can go in an emergency, what they should bring with them (such as medications, eyeglasses, hearing aids and extra batteries, oxygen, or assistive technologies), how they will get there, and who they should call for help. Everyone should know in advance what will happen in case of emergency.
  3. Stay informed of weather conditions and potential emergencies in your senior’s area.
  4. Make an emergency supply kit which includes:
  • One gallon of water for each adult for three days
  • Three day supply of non-perishable foods and manual can opener
  • Battery powered radio or NOAA radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First aid kit and medications
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and ties
  • Copies of important documents in a waterproof container
  • Cash, change or travelers checks
  • Sleeping bag or blanket for each person
  • Chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to treat contaminated water
  • Change of clothes
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in dry storage container
  • Paper and pencil, paper cups/plates

Here’s more you can do to be prepared

  • Learn CPR
  • Put the poison control center number near the phone — 1-800-222-1222
  • Take a first aid class
  • Create or update your senior’s personal first aid kit throwing out expired products and getting new ones ready
  • Make your senior’s home safer to prevent falls – install grab bars and railings, eliminate scatter rugs, place often-used items within easy reach.
  • Learn about your senior’s drinking water to be sure it is safe from contamination
  • Ensure your senior gets all the necessary vaccines, including seasonal flu, pneumonia, shingles, and any recommended by the doctor
  • Test your senior’s home for radon using a home radon kit; if the level indicates, take steps to reduce toxic radon levels

While you are assuring the homes of your loved ones are prepared, take a look at your own. After all, your safety is important too!

For more helpful information about how to keep your senior’s home safe, give us a call at 802.775.0568.