Safety Concerns

Safety risks for older persons – and what to do about them.

“Just in Case” Conversations

Posted by on Jun 26, 2012 in Planning, Safety Concerns, Sensitive Conversations | 0 comments

If your summer travel plans include a long-distance visit with aging parents, why not use the opportunity to do some “just in case” planning?  The relaxed pace of summer may offer a friendly environment in which to reflect and plan ahead. Also, being face-to-face may allow you to accomplish more than planning from a distance. Here are five tips for getting started, whether you are travelling across town or across the country!   1. Take note of warning signs that your parents may not be coping as well as before. Check for changes in these 4H’s: health, hygiene, housekeeping, and hazards...

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Avoiding Danger @ Home

Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Safety Concerns | 0 comments

Safety, including safety in and around our homes, becomes more top-of-mind as we age. Why be concerned? As we grow older, we gradually lose some of our physical strength and mobility. Reflexes may slow, affecting the speed with which we can react to dangerous situations. While some of our cognitive functions actually improve as we get older, others start to slow or decline. This may start happening as early as in our mid-50’s – even for otherwise healthy people! Our home is a good place to start when evaluating our overall safety. Performing a home “safety audit” is a first step to...

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Tips for Staying At Home…SAFELY

Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Safety Concerns | 0 comments

This tipsheet focuses on safety measures you can take to: 1) Be prepared in case of a medical emergency at home. 2) Avoid or minimize the chances of a fall  For older persons living alone, a regular “check-in” system is our first line of defense.  Friends and neighbours who see or call each other daily are often the first to know if something is amiss. If you don’t answer the phone according to a normal schedule, who can look in on you (or your parent)? Make arrangements with a neighbor or close-by friend. Alternately, have a professional caregiver or paid companion check in....

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Beware of “Helping” Strangers – Especially in Pairs

Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Safety Concerns | 0 comments

Following is a true story one of our ElderWise subscribers shared with us recently. It’s a cautionary tale – not only about letting uninvited persons into your home, but also the potential of your personal information being used by criminals.  “My mother was robbed in her home in the Toronto area last week by two women posing as social workers and I want to warn others about this kind of robbery and fraud. My sister had died of cancer about 10 days earlier. My 83 yr old mother, who lives alone in her big house, had a visit from two “social workers” from the hospital where her daughter...

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Choosing and Using A Walking Cane

Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Safety Concerns | 0 comments

Have you resisted using a cane because you think it makes you look “old”? Have you opted for feeling unsteady or tense, instead of using a tool that provides balance and support, greater safety and confidence? It’s no secret that older persons are at greater risk for falls; what’s truly frightening is that more than 40% of nursing home admissions can be traced back to a fall.   Canes don’t have to signal decrepitude. True, some canes are designed completely for function, but others do acknowledge fashion. Just search “walking canes” on the Internet, to see a sample. Whatever type of cane you...

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Choosing and Using A Walker

Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Safety Concerns | 0 comments

A “walker” is a device with wheels that is designed to provide support and balance to an individual who cannot walk without assistance. For some, a walker is a temporary aid during rehabilitation or recovery from injury or surgery. For others, a walker provides essential support for ambulation and must be used at all times. Individual needs fall somewhere along this continuum and may change over time. For example: J. was 58 when he required hip surgery. For a brief time after the surgery, he used a walker for support. M. was 85 when she had a stroke. She required the support of a...

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