In this article, we’ll discuss some safety tips and concerns, particularly for seniors. Ranging from safety at home to uncertainty about a phone call, we’ll touch on some topics to get you thinking about your safety!
Always, always make sure the batteries in your smoke alarms are good. If your alarm starts chirping, it’s time to change the battery! Have a trusted family member help you if you can’t stand securely on a ladder or chair.
If you use medical oxygen, it’s important to never smoke with it nearby. Oxygen can accelerate a fire, and what was once a small flame can spread quickly. You should also not use candles, matches, or anything else if there’s medical oxygen in your home.
Consider keeping a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. Make sure it is always fully charged, but also make sure you know how to use it!
For your home, try to pick a fire extinguisher that is small enough for you to lift and operate, but still effective enough to put out a fire should you need to. Always read the instructions to familiarize yourself before you ever need to use it. The worst thing that could happen is not knowing how to use it when the time comes!
To operate one, use the P.A.S.S. method:
Pull: Pull the pin. Point the nozzle away from you and release the locking mechanism (the pin)
Aim: Aim low, pointing the nozzle at the base of the fire
Squeeze: squeeze the lever.
Sweep: Sweep the nozzle from side to side.
For more information on fire safety, check out the National Fire Protection Association web page. There’s plenty of information about all kinds of topics on this site!
As I’m sure you already know, it’s really important to keep your doors and windows locked to prevent a break-in. Always make sure your home is secure, especially before going to bed or leaving the house.
Never trust anyone with your passwords or other secure information! I’m sure you’ve heard recently about people’s accounts being broken into and their identity stolen. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you by NEVER giving out your personal information.
If you lose your purse or wallet, or it gets stolen, call your bank RIGHT AWAY to cancel all existing cards.
Always review your medication list, especially if new medications are being added, with your doctor and pharmacist. If you have any questions, they are there to help! If anything seems off about your medications (such as they look different), ask the pharmacist! They will give you information.
Make sure your medications are clearly labeled in a way that you can read. This will prevent you from mixing up medication, and prevent problems like accidentally taking something at the wrong time of day or accidentally taking a spouse’s medication.
Always properly dispose of old medications. They do expire, and it could be unsafe to take them after that point. Talk to your pharmacy, they usually have programs for medication disposal.
Most importantly, NEVER take medication that is prescribed to someone else. It could have adverse effects on you and could interact badly with something you may already take!
Living in the Kansas City area, I’m sure you are aware that tornadoes are a big part of life here. But what exactly are you supposed to do when the sirens sound?
Well, before the sirens ever go off, you should have a safety plan. Make sure you know where the safest place to be in your home is. Usually, it’s on the lowest level of the house in a room with no exterior walls.
During a tornado watch, you should stay inside, away from doors and windows at all times. Listen to the local news, as this is where the most up-to-date information will come from. Make sure you have a battery-operated emergency radio in your home in the event of a power outage.
During a tornado warning, get to the safest place in your home! Get as low to the ground as you can, and wait it out. Keep the radio on hand so you can listen.
When it’s over, make sure to keep listening to the weather updates. Be aware of any damage to your home.
Another local problem we have is extreme cold, leading to icy conditions and even snow.
When this happens, try not to leave your house if possible. Keep track of weather reports so you know what is headed your way. Make sure you have enough food and other supplies in the event that you are unable to leave the house for an extended period of time.
Make sure all pets are inside or in a warm, sheltered area.
And most importantly: stay warm! Dress in layers and keep blankets around to stay warm and conserve energy.
Fall safety tips
A problem that many seniors face is the risk of falling down at home. There are several things you can do to prevent falling.
Make sure to wear some kind of non-slip footwear, such as slippers, to prevent slipping on the floor. This is particularly important if your home has hardwood, linoleum, or tile floors.
Always use rails and banisters when going up and down the stairs. If necessary, consider putting a railing down a long hallway.
Make sure to prevent your rugs from slipping by using a rug liner, or taping or tacking them to the floor.
Buy a rubber mat for the bottom of your tub or shower to prevent slipping.
Always keep emergency numbers handy so that, in the event of an emergency, you can contact someone easily!
Resources for other safety tips: