Back in the 18th century, Oliver Goldsmith, a poet and playwright said “Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.” The same can be said today in the 21st century.
Life still has its share of risks. However, some of those risks can be lessened (or eliminated) with the use of anticipation, common sense and planning. For seniors, this includes facing what they NOW can do and cannot do, making the adjustments necessary to live within their abilities, and asking for the help they need. In addition, they should adopt more dependable, easier and safer systems/routines.
Taking such precautions can be as simple as seniors who have balance problems counting to five after standing up and before taking a step. They should anticipate the problem and have a routine to deal with it. If they don’t get dizzy, no harm done. Better to be safe than sorry.
Systems & Routines Can Help Avoid Problems
Here are some common sense suggestions that can help seniors add a level of safety and/or prevent mishaps in their daily lives.
- Home – Leave on a light whenever you go out. Even better, leave on a different light each time.
- Phone – Program your phone with critical numbers to improve response time. This includes 911, children or caregiver, doctors.
- Heating – Do not go to sleep or nap with a portable heater on. Set a timer when you turn off the heater just in case you have a tendency to dose off.
- Kitchen – For forgetful people, never leave the kitchen while food is cooking, unless you take a wooden spoon or a pot holder with you. A kitchen utensil will remind you that food is still cooking on the stove.
- Fire – Plan escape routes from every room in your home. And practice them, too.
- Money – Do not display large amounts of money in public.
- Banking – Have checks direct deposited into your account, especially those checks that criminals can anticipate their arrival date.
- Shopping – A woman should carry her purse close to her body and never leave it in the shopping cart.
- Walking – Carry a loud whistle to call for help or to scare off a suspected attacker.
- Driving – Check the front and back seats of your car before entering it.
- Travel – Know where you are going ahead of time. Review a map and plan your route. The internet can make this process easier. It may even show a photo of an unfamiliar location, tell you where to park and let you know if they can accommodate a disability. Also, write down (or print out) the directions or use a GPS navigation system…or both.