Our homes may be a sanctuary to us but are they truly safe for the elderly? There are many different risks for the elderly which we need to be aware of to enable us to prevent exposing them. Statistics show that millions of adults over 65 years old are sent to the emergency room for accidents that take place in their own homes. Here are the different risks for aging adults which we can help to prevent.
Know the Risks to Prevent Accidents
We need to understand the different risks that the elderly face at home in order to implement precautionary measures that can help to prevent accidents. Together, we can create a much more conducive environment for aging adults to live safely in their own homes.
Falls are the leading cause of injury amongst older adults and many of them take place in their own homes. Reports have shown that nearly a third of the elderly experience a fall-related injury every year and that approximately 70 percent of these falls occur at home. Since falls are the main risk factor for older adults, we need to take extra precautions to account for the physical changes that they go through such as declining vision and hearing, balance issues, density loss, and more.
Fires are a risk to everybody and fires are an even greater risk in homes where aging adults need an oxygen tank. To reduce the risk of fire, install fire detectors in the house. Always make sure that candles or fires burn in an empty room or away from flammable items like oxygen tanks. Check appliances for frayed wires and place heaters at least three feet away from clothes, furniture, and other things that can burn easily.
Accidental poisoning can occur in a variety of ways and it poses a serious risk to aging adults who have different medications to take daily. To avoid the risk of poisoning, install carbon monoxide detectors and never heat a home using an oven or a stove. Do not place cleaning products like ammonia or bleach near food items or beverages and keep medications well-organized and clearly labeled. Medications are always to be taken in a well-lit room to prevent errors.
Abuse and Crime
Older adults are more vulnerable to crimes like thefts. Secure the home by installing locks at every door and window of the house. Always remind the elderly to not let strangers into the house especially when they are alone. Families can also educate the elderly on fraud cases that may be in the form of a call, email, and others.
Reports have shown that nearly 1 million people over the age of 65 are sent to the emergency room for product-related injuries yearly. To reduce the risks of injuries caused by consumer products, make sure that the items in the house are up-to-date and do not pose any form of hazards. Consumer products that commonly cause injuries include things like bathtubs, stairs, furniture, ladders, ramps, exercise equipment, clothing, and more.