For adults over the age of 65, falls, fires and poisoning from prescription medication mix-ups are the leading causes of death and injury. As a society,we’re getting older. In fact, every day for the next 19 years, 10,000 of us will turn 65. Preventing some of the most common accidents around the home will allow seniors to continue to live independently for as long as possible.
- A pre-programmed phone: Pre-programming a parent’s phone can eliminate difficulties in the case that they need to call someone in the case of an emergency. Be sure to program important and frequently used numbers on the phone and place an easy-to-read chart of the short cuts right next to the phone. For instance, program emergency services, family members, and doctors for easily made calls.
- Automatic Locked Pill Dispensers – the average senior takes multiple prescription medications on a daily basis. Remember when to take them is challenging enough but insuring that they are not mixed up or fall on the floor is equally dangerous not only for the person but any children that happen to be visiting. There are several pill dispensers on the market that are tamper-proof, locked and will alert you when you are running low.
- Safety devices in the bathrooms: As the floors and surfaces in a bathroom can become especially slippery, it is vital to have safety devices such as grab-bars and shower benches in the bathroom in order to prevent falls and to steady seniors as they move around their bathrooms.
- A Vial of L.I.F.E. information sheet: In case of an emergency, this is a great thing for seniors to have posted somewhere easily seen, perhaps on their refrigerator. A Vial of L.I.F.E. (LIFE standing for Lifesaving Information For Emergencies) has all of your parent’s vital information such as their name, hospital preference, medical conditions, emergency contacts, and insurance information posted for emergency personnel to have easy access to. This is especially useful if during the emergency situation the senior cannot give the information themselves. Download a blank Vial of L.I.F.E. sheet to fill out for your elderly parent here.
- Monitoring systems. One out of every three people over the age of 65 will experience a fall. Falls are the leading cause of serious injury among seniors and can be the start of a rapid physical decline. Whether you live a mile away or 1000 miles away from your parents, a monitoring system with motion sensors and alarms that can alert you if there is a problem is crucial. Additionally if there is an emergency, first responders can be notified immediately.
Alison Jacobson is the President of Accessible Home Living, a company specializing in home accessibility remodeling and the installation of Accessible Modular Home Additions. These beautiful, handicap accessible and universal designed Studio, 1-Bedroom and 2-Bedroom additions can be seamlessly attached and matched perfectly onto a caregiver’s home, allowing for someone with a disability to have a private living area but close to a caregiver for when they need assistance.