Seniors: Choosing a Safe Environment

Mar 3rd, 2010 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Falls are a number one fear for older persons.  There is something about balance that seems to offer more and more of a challenge as age catches us unawares.  The moral is:  choose a safe living  environment.

Steps, stepping stones, stairs, rugs, obstacles  that are placed in a pathway, vision issues, when there appear to be less steps than one thought, all can impede your safety when making it from one place to another.   Making your home a danger free zone will take some thought, planning and maybe renovation.  Bath rooms are a must for upgrading safety.  Hallways that are dark and often covered in throw rugs need to be examined.  One step stairways out the back door, a step up in the garage all offer potential for a very dangerous fall. 

The unexpected is the most dangerous of all.  When moving from one room to the next be alert to posssible items that have been moved and forgotten.  When going to the mailbox, watch out for newspapers or ads that have made their way into your path.  If there are neighbors with children, be alert to toys, bikes and other objects  that may have made their way to your walkway or drive. 

Some garbage pick up services are not always sensitive to picking up stray trash that may have fallen from your containers. 

Daily check ups of your traveling environment within and around your home can be a good practice. If you have a yard keeper, watch for stray tools that may have been accidentally dropped or left in your yard.  Check on sidewalks for cracks and other warning signs that could prompt a fall.

Falls are a dangerous omen for older adults.  They can create much more than bruises and embarrassment.  They can be the downfall of one’s health and mobility.  When/if the time comes to take advantage of  necessary assistance for support, walkers, canes, etc., be  reasonable about developing the habit.  A slight twinge of pride is easier to accept than immobile dependence.



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