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Have a Safe Grandparent’s Day

Have a Safe Grandparent’s Day

Sept. 7 is Grandparent’s Day.  Edna Parker, at 115 years, is the world’s oldest living person and a great-great-grandparent.  She lived in her home until she was 100 years old and ultimately moved into a nursing home after a fall in her son’s backyard. 

This Grandparent’s Day is a great opportunity to address some of the unique safety needs of our oldest family members such as:

Falls
Falls account for roughly two-thirds of all injuries that require medical treatment for people over 65 and are the leading cause of fatal injuries in this age group.

1. Get rid of rugs.  The edges can turn up and snag a person’s toe.  Alternatively, you can use double-sided tape to keep the edges down.
2. Make sure all areas of the home are well illuminated (use 60 to 100 watt light bulbs).
3. Use nightlights to help illuminate stairs and other walkways at night.
4. Install handrails along both sides of stairs.
5. Install grab bars in the bath or shower and use non-slip mats or adhesive strips.
6. Wear proper footwear with good sturdy soles.  Avoid flip-flops and loose slippers. 
7. Keep walkways clear of clutter. 

Fire
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, people aged 65 to 74 are nearly twice as likely to die in a fire as compared to the rest of the U.S. population. 

1. Designate a smoking area and keep it clear of easily combustible materials
2. Use deep ashtrays and never smoke in bed
3. Never leave a lit cigarette unattended
4. Invest in appliances that shut off automatically after a set period of time
5. Install smoke detectors on every floor of your house.  Test these regularly and replace the battery as needed. 

Extreme Temperatures
A tragic heat wave hit Europe in 2003 killing 35,000 people, most of whom were older adults.  Many of those who died lived in homes with no air conditioning.  As the thermostat rises, it is important to cool homes for older adults. 

If you don’t have air conditioning, buy fans or make arrangements for older adults to go to a friend’s home or to another place that does have air conditioning.

On the other end of the spectrum, extreme cold can also lead to injury and death.  Make sure homes are heated in colder months and older adults are adequately hydrated and dressed for the cold.

Health
Start an exercise program for the body and the mind (try a “noodle booster”).

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Andrew Peterson

Andrew Peterson is a Certified Industrial Hygienist with over 10 years of experience working in the environmental and occupational health field. In addition to writing, he is currently the Environment, Health and Safety Manager for a medium-sized company that has been voted one of Fortune Magazine’s Best Places to Work For and one of CRO Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens. He lives in California with his wife and adopted pound puppy.

5 comments

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11:15PM PDT on Jun 24, 2010

Good pointers! I have one senior that I will point these things out to.

8:27AM PDT on Apr 18, 2010

Thanks

3:02PM PDT on Apr 12, 2010

THANKS!

4:10PM PST on Feb 5, 2010

we do all that now, with my husband be handicapped and doesn't walk to well, we are always thinking home safety.

10:59PM PDT on Sep 25, 2008

i read this blog, its awesome,,,suddenly it reminds me oof both of my grands. They are both already meet Gods. They always keep me and other grand children keep save and gain wight by spoiled us with every request from us. heeeee...t

so now if i meet sn old people...great honor,,great respect and try keeping them safe from dangerous and bad things.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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