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Smart Safety Tips for Seniors Living Alone

Apr 27

Safety tips for seniors living alone can enjoy a high quality of life and maintain their independence by following smart safety tips to protect themselves at home. While aging in place can be an excellent option for many seniors, it also poses certain risks such as burglary and falls that could make them more vulnerable. By making some small changes to their home, seniors can prevent these dangers and ensure that their independence is not threatened.

Keeping the Home Safe

Elderly persons who live alone should do an annual or semiannual inspection of their homes to check for any potential hazards. Furniture that is unstable or in need of repair, stray wires, and loose floorboards should be addressed. Also, a clear and clutter-free floor area is essential to reduce the risk of falling. Make sure to keep frequently used items such as mugs and keys within reach without the need for a stool or ladder.

Keeping the Kitchen Safe

Cooking accidents can be extremely dangerous for elderly persons and should be prevented at all costs. It’s important for seniors to keep their stoves locked and have smoke detectors installed in the house. Taking the time to properly clean up after cooking can also reduce the risk of fire. Having a fire extinguisher available in the home is also a must.

Keeping the Bathroom Safe

Bathroom safety is another major concern for seniors who live alone. It’s important for seniors to remove tripping and falling hazards, such as loose or cluttered areas. Having handrails installed in the bathroom and on staircases can help reduce this risk as well. Having a grab bar next to the toilet and a seat lift installed in the bathtub are also helpful. Lastly, replacing round door knobs with lever-style ones can make it easier for seniors to get in and out of bed or the bathtub.

Getting to Know Neighbors

Seniors should take the time to develop a relationship with their neighbors. This will make their neighborhood a safer community and will ensure that their neighbors are aware of any problems or concerns that may be affecting them. Seniors who live alone should ask their neighbors to pick up mail and packages when they are not home. This will prevent their home from appearing vacant and make it less of a target for thieves.

Ensure That Homes Are Fall-Proof

Every year, three million elderly persons receive emergency room treatment due to falls. Falling can be a terrifying experience for seniors and can cause them to become fearful of engaging in normal activities. This can lead to them becoming more sedentary and ultimately more physically weak, which increases their chances of falling again.

If you or a loved one is worried about falling at home, a medical alert system may be the solution for you. These systems connect to a 24-hour call center and can detect falls, fires, carbon monoxide, and water leaks. Some state and local programs offer financial assistance for these systems, such as Rent a Daughter, so speak with your health insurance provider about your options.