What Are the Most Common Safety Problems among Older Adults?

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Many older adults prefer to age in place. While this is often possible with the right approach to home-based care, it’s important to be mindful of the safety risks common among seniors so steps may be taken to minimize these risks. Below, we go through the top safety-related problems for older adults and what may be done to address each one.

Slips & Falls

According to the CDC, older adults experience nearly 40 million falls each year. For seniors, slipping or falling may result in serious injuries, such as broken hips, that take time to heal. Medical costs associated with falls could also be financially straining for seniors and family members. Mitigate slip-and-fall risks for your older loved one by:

• Securing loose rugs
• Moving extension cords so they’re not in the way
• Making sure the home is properly lit—especially in and near the bathroom
• Using non-skid applications in the tub/shower
• Keeping inside and outside pathways and steps clear

If your loved one needs some help around the home to prevent injuries, consider hiring a caregiver. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional home care service seniors may trust and rely on.

Home Fires & Burns

The U.S. Fire Administration notes seniors have a higher risk of perishing in a fire. One reason is because many older adults have mobility limitations that may make it difficult to get out of their homes if fires occur. Burns may also be serious for seniors. Reduce these risks by:

• Setting up smoke detectors and making sure the batteries are changed at least yearly
• Helping your loved one out in the kitchen, since cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires
• Properly storing any products like paint or gas that could be a fire ignition source
• Making sure circuits and plugs aren’t overloaded

If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of at-home care. Columbus seniors are able to maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable caregivers.

Electric Shock

Homes today have more electrical devices than ever. Reduce the risk of unexpected and potentially serious electrical shock by checking for frayed or damaged cords. Also, keep an eye out for any exposed wires. Additionally, watch out for anything electric that’s too close to a water source, such as a sink or tub.

Medication Errors

Medication mix-ups or errors may be potentially life-threatening for seniors. Minimize this risk for an older adult you’re caring for by taking the following steps:

• Using a pill organizer to ensure medication is taken as intended
• Properly and securely storing medications
• Checking expiration dates
• Double-checking with your loved one’s doctor if you have concerns about dosage changes

Home Security

This applies to everyone, but it’s even more important for seniors preferring to remain at home to reduce personal security risks. This is something you may help your loved one out with by setting up security cameras. If your loved one has concerns about cameras being too intrusive, they may be set up around home entry points only or in a more discreet way. You may also prefer to set up cameras if your loved one has dementia or similar cognitive issues.

Online Safety

According to Statista, approximately 75 percent of adults 65 and older say they regularly use the internet. If your loved one is active online, keep him or her safe by reminding him or her to:

• Change passwords periodically
• Not share personal information on publicly accessible platforms
• Only use secure websites to make purchases

Taking precautions may increase safety for seniors both inside and outside the home. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an aging relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide Dementia Care Columbus families may turn to Assisting Hands Home Care for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 614-678-5887.