<!–[CDATA[The National Safety Council estimates that 245 people die of unintentional injuries at or near their homes every day. That is a very sobering statistic. Older adults make up a large number of those injuries, especially when it comes to falls.
The week of August 26 – 30 is designated as National Safe at Home Week. The goal of this campaign is to shine a spotlight on common household hazards and the steps families can take to stay safe.
Leading Causes of Injuries at Home
If you are an older adult or the caregiver for one, here are a few of the leading home hazards you should become familiar with:
- Poisoning: Experts say deaths caused by poisoning have reached epidemic levels. In fact, they have exceeded the number of fatalities related to motor vehicle accidents. Prescription overdose is the leading cause of home poisoning deaths. You can keep a senior loved one safe by learning more about medication risks common among older adults.
- Falls: An older adult is treated in a hospital emergency room every eleven seconds for a fall-related injury. Falls cause 27,000 seniors to lose their life every year. Taking steps to protect your aging loved one from an in-home fall is vital.
- Home Fire: For a variety of reasons ranging from hearing loss to non-working smoke detectors, older adults are at increased risk for injury or loss of life in a fire. You can lower the risk by conducting a fire safety assessment of their home or hiring a fire prevention professional to do a detailed inspection.
- Heat-related illness: Summer is a time of year people often look forward to. But the warm temperatures can also increase the chances for heat-related illnesses. Make sure you know the symptoms that indicate a senior is at risk and take steps to minimize them.
Senior Safety at Home: Help Spread the Word
In addition to conducting a safety audit of your older family member’s home, you can help raise awareness of in-home hazards and the risks seniors face in several ways:
- Share this article on your social media channels.
- Email information to the assignment editor at your local television station.
- Write a letter to the editor of your community’s paper.
- Talk about the issue with friends and colleagues who are family caregivers for a senior loved one.
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