The growing elderly adult population depends on assistance from younger generations. According to AARP, there are over 100 million people over 50 years old. Many older adults rely on someone to help them through various daily activities or sudden crises. Additionally, almost 45 million adult children assist their aging parents.
Being prepared for emergencies is difficult because of the many challenges that older adults may often face. From household accidents to predatory scam artists, senior safety is an issue that everyone needs to be knowledgeable and concerned about.
Ensuring the safety and well-being of the elderly adds to happiness, increased quality of life, and a more fulfilling path through the Golden Years.
Seniors Encounter a Variety of Safety Issues
In and out of the home, elderly safety is a matter that includes a broad range of topics that can be difficult to discuss. As a function of aging, mature adults frequently worry about a loss of mobility and independence and may ignore safety as a perceived limit to their individuality.
While older adults face a number of safety issues, some stand out as the most serious:
- Falls – the number one safety concern can happen anywhere. On average, one-third of elderly people fall each year.
- Fires – elderly people face more than double the risk of injury from fires.
- Identity theft – criminals present a distinct safety risk to senior adults.
- Medication – Most elderly people take an average of 5 medications that can easily be confused or taken at the wrong times resulting in accidental poisoning.
- Driving – diminished capacity and physical limitations add to the safety issues facing elderly drivers.
Everyday tasks can present obstacles for older adults who may live alone and try to accomplish things on their own. Compounding senior safety issues is the common mindset among the elderly of, “I’d rather not bother anyone with my problems.”
Face Aging Together
Many of the most common elderly safety issues can be solved at home with basic preventative measures and cooperative efforts. From slip-and-fall risks to medication accidents, having a joint plan with an older adult is the key to avoiding a crisis.
Additionally, open discussions about senior safety can be productive for both the older adult and the caregiver. Cooperative dialogue and facing concerns together reassures seniors that they can maintain a level of independence without being a burden to loved ones.
Know the Resources
Solving every safety issue is impossible. However becoming more familiar with the aging process, living in place concepts, and senior product and care providers plays a key role in preparing caregivers and seniors for the road ahead.
The senior care industry is booming — with an emphasis on safety and quality of life for older adults in the post-retirement phase of life. With a variety of products and services focused on safety in and out of the home, finding the balance between independent living and well-being is easier than ever for aging adults and families.