While the weather is getting warmer and the days are growing longer, one of the last things that may be on your mind is safety, but it should be! June is National Safety Month and there’s never been a better time to assess the safety and wellbeing of older adults. Every year it’s estimated that 125,000 injury-related deaths occur in the home, which is about 75% of all preventable injury-related deaths annually. For senior citizens, this number is even higher. The Vail Health Foundation is sharing some important tips for seniors to avoid injuries.
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Medications are crucial for the health of older adults. When used appropriately, they can diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure illness and infection. Improper use of medication poses one of the biggest risks for seniors. Taking an incorrect dose can lead to serious complications like poisoning. Mixing up doses or mistaking certain types of medication can be easy to do, so it’s best to use a pill organizer. This simple tool doses out medications daily, and you can easily check if they were taken for the day. It’s also smart to keep a list of every medicine you take and their dosages in case of an emergency.
Watch Out for Common Dangers
Hazards are all around us, including in our homes. With that being said, falls are one of the most common injuries a senior can sustain-in fact, the CDC reports that 1 in 4 adults over the age of 65 falls each year, making it the leading cause of injury in that age group. Falls are easily preventable when following these smart tips:
- Install grab bars in the shower or tub and next to the toilet.
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub or shower.
- Ensure there is adequate lightning throughout your home.
- Keep frequently used items in arm’s reach.
- Install nightlights in hallways, bathrooms, and kitchens.
- In case of emergency, have emergency numbers posted near all phones.
Practice Safe Driving
There are over 40 million licensed drivers in the US that are over the age of 65. Older drivers have the second highest crash death rate, so it’s important to reduce the chances of an accident from occurring before you get out on the road. Know the route you’re traveling, always wear a seatbelt, and only travel in safe conditions if possible can help you stay safe on the road. Regular eye exams can ensure your vision is in optimal shape.
By following these smart safety tips, you can avoid preventable injuries from happening in your home or community.