For many of us, our parents provided us with a safe and nurturing environment as children. Now that they have started to decline in mental and/or physical health, we feel that it’s our duty to keep our aging loved ones safe and secure in a loving environment. The following senior safety tips cover some of the larger issues in caring for and protecting our aging loved ones.
Certainly, there are many dangers that the elderly population faces. Falls remain a very real concern, so if an elderly loved one moves in with you, consider having your house retrofitted for senior safety. There are high-tech solutions for the home as well, such as monitors and sensors that can keep track of a senior’s vital signs and movements, especially important if the person has dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Seniors must be kept safe outside the home as well. Predators tend to prey upon what they consider the weakest members of the population, and elderly people can find themselves the victims of violent crime as well as being lured into scams that can ruin them financially. We want to give our senior loved ones as much freedom as possible, but if you notice a sudden change in behavior, or new people suddenly and deeply involved in your senior’s life, these may be warning signs. Just like parents are advised to stay involved in their teenager’s life, and know who their friends are and what activities they participate in, the same goes for those of us taking care of elderly relatives.
And if the time comes to put an aging relative in an assisted living facility, take the time to research several facilities, visit them and talk to staff and residents if possible before making your final decision. Once a relative is placed in a facility, stay involved by keeping a sharp eye on your loved one’s physical and mental state. Look for signs of neglect, and speak up if you feel something is not right.
If you are caring for an elderly person, what do you think the most important safety issues are, and what steps do you take to protect them?