It’s not enough to have the emergency numbers you need, but it’s important to keep them handy, these numbers would include 911, Poison Control, a Family member or friend who you can call in an emergency, and your health provider’s office number.
Preventing falls in the home:
If you have frequently fallen in the past year, you may want to have a special fall risk assessment completed. You can have this ordered by your healthcare provider. To prevent falls, you can ask your doctor if an exercise program would be beneficial for you. Pay particular attention to the bathroom as this is one of the most common fall areas in the home.
Personal alarms are available that you can wear which, when a button is pushed, you can contact emergency services. This way if you’ve fallen and can’t get to a phone, you can still get the help you need. You can search for extensive industry reviews for medical alert systems by entering “medical alert system reviews” in your search toolbar.
When the phone rings, take your time answering it. Many seniors fall when trying to get to the phone before it hangs up. Either carry a cordless phone with you, have a cell phone handy, or let the answering machine answer it and the person can leave a message.
Be sure to wear non-slip footwear if you have smooth floors. Many seniors have slipped on their floors and broken bones or hips.
In the kitchen, there can be many dangerous areas. When cooking, don’t wear loose clothing or clothes with long sleeves. If the sleeves dangle over the burner, you could catch on fire. Too, don’t put too many appliances into one wall socket or extension cord. Plus, if any of your appliances are frayed, they need to be tossed and replaced. Clean up anything you spill immediately and use a step stool to reach higher shelves, or a reacher to grasp what you can’t. Don’t pull a chair over and stand on it because it can shift with your weight and tip over.
In the bathroom, place a non-skid bathmat or safety strips in the bathtub or shower. Also, be sure to install grab bars in the shower or bath, and don’t use towel racks or soap dishes to pull yourself up or out of the tub or shower. Keep the water no hotter than 120 F to prevent scalding.
If you’re having difficulty getting in and out of the shower or bathtub or even off the toilet, see if your provider will order you a special bench or tub chair, or raised toilet seat. Be sure the bathroom is well-lit, and the bathroom floor is skid-proof, so you don’t slip coming out of the shower or bathtub.
Safe-proof your home:
There are ways to safe-proof your home as well. Well-lit stairways that are not blocked with objects and the carpet nailed down securely are necessary. The handrails and railings should be secure, and there shouldn’t be any throw rugs at either the top or bottom landings. In fact, tape the area rugs to the floor, so they don’t move.