As caregivers we are continually in “safety mode” when it comes to caring for our aging loved ones. The month of June, though, has been set aside as National Safety Month as a way to highlight safety of all kinds:
- Workplace safety
- Child safety
- Safety in the home
Consider that injuries are the leading cause of disabilities for people of all ages and factor in that the leading cause of disability in those aged 65 or older is from falls in the home which typically lead to hip fractures and you can see the importance of highlighting safety.
How does National Safety Month make a difference?
The month is an ideal time to take stock of any potential hazards in your workplace or in your home. IF you’re a caregiver for aging relatives, now would be the perfect time to set aside a few hours to give the house a safety once-over. This safety “inspection” should take into consideration:
- Any trip or fall hazards in the house
- Whether the bathroom and tub are elderly safe
- Whether foods and other items in the kitchen are easy to reach and don’t require your loved one standing on a ladder
- The state of the medicine cabinet. Look for outdated medications and also make certain your loved ones are taking the medications they are supposed to.
- Check for darkened hallways in the home and add motion sensor lights.
- Make certain there are no electrical cords that could pose a trip hazard
- Clear out the refrigerator and pantry of expired foods and stock them back up with healthy food
Take time to talk with your loved ones to see if they feel safe at home. If they are dealing with any health issues and if it’s difficult for you be at their home several times a week, consider investing in a home medical alert system. These devices, with their personal medical alert pendants provide peace of mind for the entire family.
Bottom line, during National Safety Month here are a few other safety items to consider:
- Medication safety
- Driving and biking safety
- Workplace safety
- First aid and emergency preparedness
- Preventing trips and falls in the home
Get the entire family involved in reducing the risk of injuries, in June, and throughout the year.