Having a medical alert system is a great way to provide you and your family with peace of mind, but that doesn’t mean you should have to press the button on your emergency pendant every day!
There are a lot of things you can do to make living in your home safer. Not only can you cut back on accidents, but with these tips, you can also ensure that things go smoothly, even if you do experience an emergency.
- Decrease the chances of falling in your home
There are many reasons to prevent a fall. Two-thirds of seniors who fall will fall again within 6 months. For seniors aged 65 to 69, 1 in 200 falls results in a hip fracture. For seniors 85 or older, the number balloons to 1 in 10. But perhaps the worst part about falling is that you may lose the ability to live independently. If you do nothing else on this list, at least make sure you spend some time fall-proofing your home.
There are quite a few things you can do to help prevent falls in your home, including:
- Install handrails
- Secure carpets to the floor
- Install adequate lighting throughout the house
- Use non-slip strips and stickers on stairs and inside the tub
- Get rid of clutter
- Don’t walk on hard flooring with socks
- Wear shoes with non-skid soles
- Consider using a walker
Your medical alert system is there if you experience a fall, but the best thing to do is to prevent a fall from happening in the first place.
- Make new friends
Who says safety can’t be fun! As seniors age, they tend to become more and more socially isolated. Not only can having fewer friends increase medical risks for the elderly, it’s also quite lonely, and it can be dangerous.
Consider placing a neighbor on your medical alert system emergency contact list so they can check on you quickly if there’s an emergency. Even if you choose not to put a neighbor on your emergency contact list, consider asking if they would be willing to check in with you every so often. Having neighborhood friends is especially helpful as they can check in with you during a tornado watch, power outage, or other neighborhood emergency.
Don’t be afraid to take up a new hobby or make it a point to get out of the house at least once a week! The more friends you have, the more people will check in on you, which will make you feel connected and safe.
- Make daily activities easier
Part of growing old means understanding your own limits. Just because you used to be able to stretch far enough to reach that pan in the back corner of the cabinet doesn’t mean you still can.
To prevent accidents, strive to make daily activities easier.
- Only use lower shelves in your home
- If something is on an upper shelf, ask someone to help you
- Use a stepstool with handrails
- Use a reaching device
- Choose the right footwear that’s comfortable and supportive
- Don’t carry too many things at the same time
- Take your time!
And of course, don’t be afraid to ask for help!
- Vial of Life kit
Even when you try your hardest to prevent an emergency situation, accidents happen. To make sure you get the care you need quickly and easily, consider placing the Vial of Life in your home.
This handy little kit is completely free! It is designed to contain your most important medical information, like your medical history, a list of allergies, and emergency contacts. That way, if you are unable to communicate with the first responders who arrive in your home, they can get all the information they need from your Vial of Life. Some medical alert systems even include a Vial of Life with their medical alert system!
Don’t kick yourself later because you could have prevented an accident today. For more tips on senior-proofing your home, check out this easy checklist.
BONUS TIP: Don’t forget to place a lockbox with a key on the outside of your home so help can get in without breaking down the door or shattering a window!