Senior Safety - Caring for the Ones You Love

by Jennifer Grey, HousingforSeniors.com Editor | August 9, 2012 | Comments

As people begin to age, they increasingly require more precautions and additional care. On average, the majority of seniors prefer to live at home where they can continue to retain some sense of independence and dignity. Deciding whether to take care of an elder relative at home, or keeping them at a nursing home is a difficult decision for all involved. Either way, there are a number of steps that elders as well as their younger relatives or caregivers can take to ensure a safer and happier life for them. If the senior will be staying at home, one of the first steps should be in making the home safer. This can range from adding handrails, rubber floor grips in the bathroom, and better security features on doors and windows. One of the most common ways in which seniors injure themselves is by falling. By taking careful measures to prevent falls, we can also prevent a large number of physical injuries and related health problems. Additional steps should be taken if the senior has any health issues that could compromise their safety, such as visual impairment, or memory loss. For a senior to stay healthy they need proper nutrition, exercise, regular health check-ups, and adequate medication or supplements if necessary. If the senior is capable of living at home, it is helpful to set them up in such a way that they can adequately and safely do their daily tasks without difficulty. Educating them about additional precautions regarding kitchen use, fire safety, and avoiding strangers can help to ensure their security.

Another aspect of taking care of seniors involves keeping them safe from harmful people. Fraud and scams against seniors are rampant, ranging from health care schemes, to fraud regarding lotteries, telemarketing, social insurance, financial planning and even funeral arrangements! Apart from this, they can also fall prey to friends or family who may coerce them into making agreements against their will. Elder abuse and neglect is a more serious issue to consider. This can happen at a care facility or even at home. Although it is sad and even horrific to consider, it is important to be fully aware of the indicators of physical abuse so that it can be stopped before it gets any worse. Elders can be susceptible to various types of physical and even sexual abuse, maltreatment, neglect of their needs, and emotional or verbal abuse (such as belittling, insulting, or blaming). On the other hand, financial abuse could involve others faking the senior’s signature on cheques, coercing them into modifying a will or approving expenses, and making false promises in exchange for financial payments. The following resources will help to offer further insight and advice into each of the areas discussed.

Seniors & Health Safety

Scams and Crimes Against Seniors

Elder Abuse

Assisted Living and Nursing Home Safety

Kitchen and Food Safety

About the Author |Contact the Author

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Jennifer is a freelance writer based in New York City. She has worked as a GED teacher for an adult education nonprofit for several years, teaching students ranging in age from sixteen to sixty-eight. Today, she writes and researches on numerous topics-including adult education, senior living, and travel.