Four Safety Tips For Older Adults Who Live Alone
Usually, for the sake of both parents and children, it’s best for seniors to live in their own homes for as long as possible, even if they live alone. The familiar physical surroundings reduce the risks of falls, the familiar emotional environment eases mental discomfort, and living in the home is usually much cheaper than a senior living center.
Nevertheless, there is a price to pay. In one of life’s role reversals, children often worry about their parents who are out on their own.
To obtain additional peace of mind, talk with Mom or Dad about these safety tips. If Mom or Dad resists and says something like “I’m not an invalid, and I don’t need this,” only explain that it’s better to have these items and not need them than it is to need them and not have them.
The Right Landscaping
Shrubs, trees, and vines do more than make the house look attractive. They are an essential first line of defense against creeping ne’er-do-wells.
Large, bushy shrubs are very good looking and therefore very popular. But they also give criminals cover, especially if such bushes are on the back or side of the house well away from the street. Most burglars are lazy. If the house requires even a little bit more effort, they will often skip it and move onto the next one.
The same thing applies to windows. Strategically-placed rosebushes or other plants that have thorns make it much harder to get through the window, and bush is a lot prettier than burglar bars.
Smart doorbells that primarily act like a virtual peephole that’s linked to a smartphone may not provide too much additional security unless the burglar is polite enough to ring the doorbell. But they do offer extra peace of mind. They’re also very convenient because there’s no reason to answer the door for guests that may not be especially welcome.
In contrast, smart locks are a great idea, because they eliminate the need for a spare key under the welcome mat. Many of these locks work with a keypad entry or even a fingerprint. Most of these devices are also connected to a smartphone, as is just about everything else these days, so if homeowners forget to lock the door, they just swipe their fingers.
Get a Dog
Dogs often alert homeowners when someone is on the lawn, whether the people want this alert or not. There are some other benefits as well. For example, pets give their people a sense of purpose, and they also help stave off feelings of loneliness. The size or temperament of the dog really does not matter.
Security inside the home is just as important because the risk of falls is so high. The stakes are high as well because a majority of the people who fall cannot live independently even after they recover. So, make sure there is plenty of light in the living areas, especially at the tops and bottoms of staircases. There are lots of limited mobility aids for the bathroom as well, such as shower benches and handrails. Finally, on this point, make sure the hallways are both clutter free and well-lit.
Have Mom or Dad pay attention to personal habits as well. Don’t rush to pick up the phone, never use furniture or wall for balance (use a prescribed walking cane instead), and never stay alone in the house for an entire day. Be social and be active.
If families implement these safety tips, everyone’s life will be a little bit better.
by Joe Fleming