Personal Safety for
Grandma and Grandpa
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.
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
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.
Raise the height
of a low bed making it easier to get out of.
bars next to the bed and other strategic places throughout the
throughout the home to lower the risk of stumbling and falling.
Decide with your
senior about the fate of pets (weighing companionship against
on floors and counters.
Put an automatic
pill dispenser into service.
shelves in the seniorís cabinets or set up plastic turntables on
Buy a reaching
device for getting items off of shelves or from the floor.
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.
Paul Susic M.A. Licensed
Psychologist Ph.D Candidate (Health and Geriatric Psychologist)
Senior Care Psychological Consulting 2451 Executive Dr. Ste.
103 St. Charles, Missouri 63303 (636) 300-9922