Elder Safety: The New Talks You Need to Have About Senior Safety with Aging Parents

Senior Safety is a new conversation that you will have to have with your parents. We all assume the responsibility to protect ourselves in adulthood. But, as our parents age, there are new frailties and new risks. Talks about the new concerns of elder safety are the first step to help prevent accidents or serious harm to them.

Elder Safety In the Community

Your parents have always been open and trusting and live in a friendly community. But there are now people in every town that prey on the elderly. Learning to be watchful in their own neighborhood may be a very new skill. Sharing their excitement about coming to visit you for a week with the grocery clerk is no longer a good idea. And for goodness sake, EVERYONE knows the key is hidden under the mat, so it must be moved.

You may have to help your parents think about money differently. Carrying large amounts of cash is a “no, no” for senior safety. Thieves and scam artists hone their skills to win the trust of seniors for the purpose of taking their valuables, or draining bank accounts.

Senior Safety at Home

For seniors living alone, safety begins at home. You’ll have to help them look at their home in a new way for dangers unique to older people. Accidents waiting to happen lurk among things that you previously overlooked. The pile of newspapers near the fireplace is no longer a convenience, but a fire hazard. The throw rugs, no longer decorative additions, but falling risks. A medicine bottle with print that is now unreadable is a poisoning hazard. The water heater may need to be reset to prevent burns on older, delicate skin.

The kitchen will be a new source of conversation. Food safety is a topic that is often overlooked. Whether it’s food that’s left out after being purchased, or leftovers that have hung around too long, food poisoning is a special source of danger for the elderly.

Senior citizen home safety can also be a problem when "helpful strangers" appear at the door. Thieves will try inventive ways to gain entrance. Elder safety begins at home.

Fire Safety Plan

We teach our children religiously, to STOP, DROP and ROLL if there is a fire. But senior citizens have the highest fatality rate in a fire of any group. You’ll need to be just as vigilant in helping your parents learn new ways to prevent a fire. Elders whose hearing, sense of smell, and speed are diminished, will need to re-learn what to do if there is a fire.

Fire Safety Plans

We've always enjoyed the warmth and beauty for an indoor fire. but for senior citizens, fireplaces and candles can bring unexpected danger.

Fireplace Safety - 1

Fire Place Safety - 2

Fire Safety Guidelines - 3

Your parents may intensely dislike new “gadgets” that they have to manage, but senior safety can easily be enhanced. Safety alarms for fire, burglary, or medical alerts, just may save a life.

Winter Safety

As winter approaches, the outdoors brings new hazards. Ice can be invisible on stairs or sidewalks. And if not done properly, snow-shoveling presents it own risk for injury, falls or heart-attacks.

Getting Help

If your parents are injured or have an accident or a fall, being reminded of some modern safety first aid measures may help them get help faster, and prevent the injury from being made worse. Senior citizens often need to be reassured that the Emergency Medical Technicians and the folks at 911 are there waiting to help them. They won’t mind being disturbed, and it’s no bother at all for the ambulance to come to the rescue.

Senior safety will probably be a new topic for you and for your aging parents. There will be things that never occurred to you that can now present serious danger. It worth your time and theirs to be thorough and cautious. You’ve thought nothing of baby proofing your house for children -- now it’s time to make sure that elder safety for your parent’s home is just as important.

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