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Additional Personal Safety Articles of Interest:

Personal Safety for Grandma and Grandpa

Personal Safety : Dealing with Stairs and Doorways

Making Your Home Accessible

Independent Aging and Home Safety

Prescription Medication: Keeping Seniors Safe and Sound

Additional Senior Articles of Interest:

Alzheimer's Disease

Cancer: A Death Sentence for the Elderly?

Depression among the Elderly

General Information and Referral-St. Louis, MO

Health Insurance 101 for Senior Citizens 

Long term care insurance: What is it really?

Medicare: How will it help me?

Nursing Homes: What critical information should I know?

Personal Safety for Grandma and Grandpa

Prescription Medication: You have to get it right

Social Security: Can I get it now?

Senior Housing Options

Senior Care Psychological Consulting

Web Site Map

 

 

 

Personal Safety for Grandma and Grandpa 

Personal safety for your senior family member 

Personal safety is of paramount importance for anyone caring for senior family members or friends.  Personal safety may become an issue for the elderly in accomplishing such minute tasks as getting out of bed and getting dressed.  Walking can be a special concern, sometimes becoming a huge burden just to navigate around simple boxes or other articles on the floor.  Doorways become tremendous challenges to navigate and dealing with stairs may become absolutely impossible. 

Frequently, personal safety also includes issues not usually even considered by individuals with normal functioning such as memory concerns and a multitude of other concerns related to both physical and mental health. Short-term memory difficulty may result in an individual forgetting a pan cooking on the stove resulting in a fire, forgetting to take medicine or taking too many doses, or any number of other circumstances that many of us do not even think about.  Difficulties in physical functioning may result in an inability to care for self resulting in nutritional deficiencies such as dehydration and malnutrition. 

I think most people can relate to the desire of many frail elderly wanting to live on their own, frequently becoming an accident waiting to happen.  You may want to pay special attention to the elderís lifestyle and test yourself to see how many personal safety suggestions you can propose to make their life safer.  The following list comes from the book Eldercare for Dummies by Rachelle Zukerman Ph.D., Gerontologist and licensed clinical social worker.  The following personal safety suggestions may make your frail elderís living space much safer. 

Personal Safety Tips: 

  • Raise the height of a low bed making it easier to get out of.

  • Install grab bars next to the bed and other strategic places throughout the living space.

  • Improve lighting throughout the home to lower the risk of stumbling and falling.

  • Decide with your senior about the fate of pets (weighing companionship against personal safety).

  • Remove obstacles on floors and counters.

  • Put an automatic pill dispenser into service.

  • Install turnable shelves in the seniorís cabinets or set up plastic turntables on existing shelves.

  • Buy a reaching device for getting items off of shelves or from the floor.

Your elderís personal safety should be the utmost consideration as physical, cognitive and mental health changes take place over time.  Unfortunately, hard choices and trade-offs must be made sometimes between an individualís desires and their personal safety.

By Paul Susic M.A. Licensed Psychologist Ph.D Candidate (Health and Geriatric Psychologist) 

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