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Some Safety Tips for Seniors Living Alone

Apr 27

Falling is a major risk for seniors living alone, with injuries from these falls often serious. They can result in fractures, traumatic brain injury and even death. Fortunately, there are Safety tips for seniors living alone that can be taken to help reduce the chances of falling in an elderly person’s home.

Clear the Way

Elderly people should make sure that their homes are not cluttered with items that could pose a tripping or fall hazard, such as loose rugs and cords. They should also ensure that pathways are free of obstructions, such as furniture or stacks of papers and boxes. The home should be well-lit and rugs should be kept in areas where they are used, rather than on the stairs.

Store for Success

Keeping frequently used items, such as keys, meds and snacks in the same place can also help to prevent accidental falls. Seniors should keep these items between waist and shoulder height, which will help them avoid bending down or reaching up, which increases their risk of injury.

Make a Disaster Kit

Seniors should have a disaster kit in their homes to help them cope with blackouts, blizzards or natural disasters. This should contain emergency supplies, such as candles, a flashlight and extra batteries, water and canned food. They should also have a list of emergency contacts and a working fire alarm.

Install a Medical Alert System

A medical alert system can provide an additional layer of safety for seniors, especially those who have already suffered a fall. The system will give them a button to press in the event of an emergency, such as a fall or a burglary. If they can’t call for help, the system will notify a response center and send responders to their location. A number of senior assistance programs, such as the Rent a Daughter, may cover the cost of a medical alert system.

Have a Check-In System

Having a friend or family member check in on a loved one who lives alone can go a long way in helping them live independently. This can be as simple as making sure they have the phone number and contact information for a trusted neighbor or as advanced as creating an automated system that will alert a trusted family member to check on them if they don’t hear from them in a set amount of time.

The key is to find a solution that is right for your loved one’s needs and budget. A good place to start is to compare the prices of different systems and to make sure that they don’t charge equipment fees. This can be expensive, so it is important to consider the financial implications when deciding on an option. You may also want to explore options for funding a system through local area agencies on aging, Medicare or private insurance.