September 15, 2017

While many seniors decide to move into retirement homes or move in with their families for their twilight years, some wish to stay put in their current homes. While this is one way of cherishing independence, this can cause anxiety for family members who worry that their loved ones aren’t safe alone in their homes.

So, what can seniors and their family members do to ensure that they are prepared for any emergency and practicing safe daily habits? Here are a few suggestions that will allow family members to rest easy and seniors to continue to enjoy their independence.

Invest in Medical Alarm Systems

These simple, but lifesaving devices are a MUST for any senior living on their own. Incredibly easy to use, this one-button medical alarm system can be clipped on to any clothing or worn around your wrist or neck so it's always within easy reach. Many devices are waterproof so they can stay on in the shower, they work indoors and outdoors and up to 300 feet away from the base unit.

In the event of any sort of catastrophe such as a fall, break in or power failure, seniors simply press the button on their medical alarm and the authorities are immediately contacted and dispatched. If it’s a medical emergency, personal information, such as any conditions or allergies, are kept on file and communicated to the emergency services so that when they get there they have all the information necessary.

These devices are ideal for seniors living independently and they give friends and family peace of mind knowing that help is always at the touch of a button.

Eliminate Fall Risks

Unfortunately, about one third of the senior population over the age of 65 falls each year, and many falls happen because of obstacles around the home. The good news, is we have some easy ways to prevent falls:

  • Do your best to not leave items in passageways or doorways.
  • Check to make sure there are no loose floorboards or carpets, and secure any loose rugs with tape.
  • Invest in non-slip mats for the shower and bathroom.
  • Install handrails on staircases so there’s something to hold onto, especially in the dark.
  • Ensure seniors are wearing sensible shoes that are unlikely to slip.
  • Highlight steps and doorsills with a bright color to make them unmissable.

Some obstacles can’t be moved like furniture or steps, but you can make sure they are easily seen, particularly at night. Check on the lighting around your home, to ensure that when on, the lights are bright enough but not so bright that they are blinding.

At night, ensure that there are plenty of night lights in the bedroom, bathroom, and hallway, or easy to reach lamps for those middle-of-the-night needs. Next, if there are stairs in the home, make sure there are lights close by to prevent tripping down them. Consider glow-in-the-dark light switches to prevent any stumbles when trying to find a light switch.

Another option is motion-sensing lighting, which can even be programed to turn on automatically at set times. Finally, ensure a flashlight is always close by in case there is a blackout.

Medicine Cabinet Safety

When medication is needed regularly, it is easy to get disorganized. Stay safe by ensuring that the medicine cabinet is organized, and all medications are in the correct container. This will prevent seniors from confusing pills and dosages. It’s worth going through medicine cabinets at least once a year to get rid of any expired medication. Most importantly, ensure medicine is always taken in a well-lit area to avoid any mix ups.

If seniors have any little ones or grandchildren coming over to visit, make sure medicine is stored in a child-proof area so everyone can rest easy. If you want to make it super secure, consider installing an asset protection device on your medicine cabinet. This device will immediately send an alert text or call whenever the cabinet is opened.
Sometimes all you need is a helping hand. With the help of ADT’s senior safety products, seniors can live comfortably on their own and enjoy their freedom.

For information on ADT’s Medical Alert Systems, visit our Health section.

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