It’s no secret that the elderly are particularly vulnerable to injury and death from injury, and also that they’re more likely to experience poor health outcomes from an injury, but what are the main factors that put them at risk? This article will discuss some of the most important safety issues for seniors, look at why they make our loved ones vulnerable, and explore how they can be prevented.
Slips and Falls
Falls are one of the most common causes of non-fatal injuries in older adults. Aging family members are especially susceptible to falls because their muscles, balance, eyesight, and ears all begin to deteriorate with age. Even when our loved ones move within their own homes, it is important to be extra cautious. Take steps to ensure that your parent’s home is safe by evaluating all hazards inside their home.
According to a National Fire Protection Association study, around 25% of all fire-related deaths occurred in residents aged 65 or older. The biggest reason for these deaths was faulty heating equipment which could be prevented by keeping your furnace, and other heating systems maintained regularly. If you live alone, make sure you have a smoke detector installed as well as having a trusted neighbor who can check up on you from time to time. If possible, install a home security system that includes indoor cameras to alert you of any movements at your house when you’re not there.
As we age, our reactions slow down. In other words, if they are standing in water while using an electric appliance, they might get shocked before realizing what’s happening. To prevent injury or death in family members, electric appliances should be kept away from sinks, bathtubs and other bodies of water. Faucets should also be set to a low flow to reduce splashing risk. Should any safety issues arise with the home plumbing system, contact a professional immediately.
Medicine and Accidental Poisoning
One of the most common ways many people die is from an accidental overdose on over-the-counter or prescription medicines. The drugs are usually taken for health reasons such as arthritis, making them even harder to use. Although they may be more likely to take these medications, they are also less likely to tell their doctors if they develop any side effects or complications that require medical attention. To reduce the risk of accidental poisoning among older adults, ensure you’re taking all your medication according to your doctor’s instructions.
10 – 15% of falls in our aging loved ones happen at night due to improperly installed lighting in homes. Ensure that lights in your home are correctly secured to avoid falling when you need to go into another room after dark.