There is an increase in the number of senior citizens due to the baby boomer generation getting older. Elderly individuals often need assistance from family members or caregivers to avoid dangers inside their own home or from outsiders wanting to take advantage. As individuals age, they may begin losing visual acuity, mental clarity and physical strength, leading to more hazards in the home. It’s important that family members living with senior citizens or visiting occasionally help find dangerous situations to avoid injuries, financial disasters or identity theft.
One: No Hand Rails
For the young and healthy, handrails never cross the mind. However trip and fall injuries can be a common occurrence for elderly individuals. It is important to have sturdy handrails on the walls near indoor stairways and outdoor steps to help prevent falls. Additionally carpets, rugs and floor tiles are secured firmly on floors to avoid falls. Falling injuries in the bathroom and kitchen occur more often due to water on the floors. Once again having something for elderly to hold on to is imperative.
Two: Door to Door Sales
Thieves know that elderly individuals are at home during the day and in many cases are very trusting, making them easy targets. A popular scam is a thief knocking on a senior citizen’s door to offer repair or lawn services. The thieves ask for cash, checks, or credit card information immediately while telling the individual they are returning the next day with equipment to perform the job. The thieves never return but have money and personal information.
Three: Phone and Internet
Alternatively, many seniors are victimized by telephone scams. A con artist may call a senior citizen pretending they are a charitable organization needing donations or a bank requiring account numbers. For more of the tech savvy senior citizens, the internet is a prime place for scams because it’s so easy to claim security on a website or come across as a genuine caring individual through text.
Four: Smoke Detectors
With age it’s not uncommon for a senior citizens to become distracted, which isn’t all that dangerous unless they are cooking a meal and possibly leaving burners on underneath empty skillets. The possible dangers of this are obvious, fires or severe skin burns. What may not be so obvious is the fact that they may not hear a fire alarm even if it is functioning properly. Family and friends may assume that are safe but if they don’t hear an alarm early enough they won’t be able to escape or call for help. Obviously besides fires there are many more hazards in the home, however the key is to learn what the abilities of the individual is and carefully decide what measures to take to keep them safe.
Five: Neglectful Families
It’s sounds a little harsh but unfortunately it’s true. Children and grandchildren become caught up in the work, play, and all around hustle and bustle of life. They don’t mean to put off their parents and grandparents but they do. While it may not be directly hazardous to their physical health the toll it takes on their mental health quite possibly is worse. Families need to set schedules and make it a habit to communicate with their loved ones, remembering that the mental is just as important a the physical.
Written by Valery Sharp-