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A Safety Issue: Substance Abuse in the Elderly

Have you become concerned about an elderly loved one’s dependence on a prescription drug or you notice that he or she drinks more than usual? Starting and having a conversation about substance use is often difficult, but when it comes to the safety and well-being of your elderly loved one, it’s crucial. What if he or she were to have a fall in the home or cause an accident? There’s no telling what could really happen.

 

Here are some signs that your elderly loved one may have a substance abuse problem and how you can help them:

Substance Abuse in the Golden Years

 

Many people assume that when an older adult abuses alcohol or drugs, he or she has had a problem for years. The truth is that some older adults, who struggle with addiction, develop the dependence in their golden years. An elderly man, who only enjoyed a few beers a couple of times a year when he was younger, but now drinks hard liquor every day or an 80-year-old grandmother, who used to only take aspirin for headaches, but now takes painkillers all day, may have addiction issues.

Reasons for Addiction Later in Life

 

Some elderly individuals start drinking after family has moved farther away or when a spouse or a good friend dies. Others may start to calm nerves, loneliness, and anxiety. Boredom, lack of socialization, and limited mobility may also lead to substance abuse. In some cases, an individual may have had a casual and healthy relationship with alcohol and prescription drugs, but as he or she ages, it becomes a significant concern. Regardless of the reason, there are no specific reasons as to why an elderly individual may struggle with substance abuse.

Signs of Substance Abuse

 

For older people, who struggle with addiction, it is often overlooked or even misdiagnosed. Problematic drinking and prescription drug abuse may not be as obvious as one may think as some symptoms may be assumed to be part of the aging process. Some signs to watch for include, but are not limited to: secretive or solitary drinking, slurred speech, change of appearance, chronic complaints of health, and depression or confusion.

Starting a Conversation, Offering Help

 

Addressing addiction issues is never easy and many family and friends are hesitant to bring up the subject for fear of seeming disrespectful or even being removed from the elderly individual’s will. If you suspect addiction, it’s important to talk about your concerns. First, start out by having a frank discussion. If that seems to go nowhere, try to organize an intervention with a doctor or with friends and family.

 

Offer your love, support, and have resources at the ready, whether it’s a 12 step program, a support group, or therapy. Talking about addiction and getting your elderly loved one help may be a lengthy process that requires the help of professionals and advice about treatment may be most helpful from your local health department, social services, and doctors, who should be able to supply you with adequate resources.

 

Easy Safety Measures around the Home

You don’t have to drill a thousand holes and spend a fortune to keep your elderly parent or loved one safe, notes Elderly Safety.  

In fact, it may be as simple as a good, solid push. On a suction cup grab bar, for example, available from some online retailers for from about $13 to as much as $115 for a heavy-duty telescoping bar with super-grip capacity.

Still, $115 isn’t much to spend when considering a loved ones’ safety. And this particular grab bar, mounted in a potentially treacherous tile or plastic shower without tools, using only the pressure of a good, strong arm and a little moisture, will offer hours of peace of mind when you are not able to be with that loved one.

Wireless Security

Other safety measures can be as simple to install, and offer as much peace of mind. For example, wireless security, at only $137.83, installs easily with mounting accessories included, and offers 100-foot range for houses or apartments as large as 3,000 square feet.

A 4-zone system, with 6 sensors per zone (including doors, windows and motion-sensitivity), can be customized to operate as the homeowner wishes, including various delay times, instant warning, chimes and even an emergency voice message for those instances where personal response might fail.

It also calls up to 9 separate phone numbers, and provides a 110-decibel siren – more than enough to provide both safety and security for aging parents or a spouse who must be left home alone.

Alzheimer’s Security

Called the Door Guardian, this unique lock that doesn’t look like a lock offers strong but ingenious detention for Alzheimer’s victims.

It does not need a key, and opens by both pulling and rotating the unit out of the way on an inside door that opens into the room (but not on doors that open out). It is reportedly super-easy for caregivers to disconnect, but baffling to Alzheimer’s patients, thus ensuring that they can’t leave the premises untended.

It installs on wood or metal doors, and requires only a drill and a screwdriver, both of which are provided. It is not recommended for use on exterior doors, for obvious reasons, but mounted high on the jamb, or very low, it combines unexpected location with an unusual appearance to disguise its true function so that Alzheimer’s victims are not even tempted to fuss with it.

Motion Alert Devices

Sadly, some of our older loved ones are confined to a bed or a chair by their infirmities. It is a difficult situation for caregivers, but one that ensures greatest safety for those elderly who are too shaky to walk on their own, even to get to the bathroom.

For those individuals, installing a wireless remote alarm pad across the middle of the bed, or the seat of a chair, insures that shaky older individuals can be prevented from attempting to walk around on their own.

The pads operate on batteries or, alternately, an AC adaptor, and usually come with a washable, waterproof protector pad to guard against bladder accidents and leaks. About 10 inches by 30 inches, the soft vinyl pads trigger an alarm that can be located up to 100 feet away from the bed or chair, and offer a full, one-year warranty.

Other Products

Other products requiring little or no installation, and offering hours of reassurance and comfort, include toilet and bath safety rails, lanyard-mounted pagers, cotton safety-transfer belts for walking and moving from place to place, bedside handrails that fit under the mattress and above the box spring, or even hospital beds, which can be purchased new or used, sometimes for as little as $50 in very good condition.  

Or, for fragile but no longer dexterous older hands, consider a doorknob extender, which transforms a slippery door handle into a long, easy-to-grasp wedge that even the most arthritic hands can grasp.

Travel Safely Past 65

When we are young, travel is a lark. Slip on the Reboks, pack a toothbrush and underwear, and hit the open road with a cellphone and the kind of energy and agility that feels like it will last a lifetime.

Past 65, when the energy and agility have faded – often noticeably, in spite of our best efforts – travel becomes more complicated, and requires more preparation. In addition to the obvious – travel insurance, necessary documentation, and due diligence – there are medications and medical goods/devices that are mandatory travel items for many seniors with health problems  

Medical Equipment and Supplies for Safe Travel

In some cases, there are even peripheral medical devices, ranging from hand-held and hand-operated asthma-type inhalers (also called bronchodilators) to electrical devices called nebulizers, which deliver a fine mist of medication designed to open airways and relieve breathing. Or consider the equipment needed if one is a Type 2 diabetic – test strips, a glucometer and insulin, without which travel is not possible.  

Finally, there is oxygen, via either a portable generator or tanks which range in size and weight from about 18 inches tall and four pounds, to 30 inches tall and 10 pounds. All these aids and devices are necessary if older people are to travel safely, within a large city, across the country, or to international destinations like Rome, London, Paris, and Cancun.

Because some items may create conflict and longer waits because of Transportation Security Agency (TSA) scrutiny, potential travelers should contact the TSA’s precheck page for cautions and recommendations.

Choosing Locations for Safe Travel

It’s difficult to stay safe in locations where war, social upheaval, or diseases are running rampant. The best defense against traveling to unsafe locations either in North America or internationally is to make oneself aware of conditions in an area being considered for travel.

The most recent example of places to avoid would have been the 2016 Olympics. Organizers sold 4.2 million tickets. In all, about 10,500 athletes and 500,000 spectators attended the opening ceremonies in Rio de Janiero, Brazil on Friday, August 5. Not only were event organizers poorly prepared, and security staff woefully short-handed, but the infrastructure was lacking which would have kept attendees safer from both violence and disease.

Vaccines are a routine part of travel outside the U.S. Some, like the yellow fever vaccine, are mandatory, depending on your destination, of course. Others are recommended, especially for vulnerable demographic groups like pregnant women, the very young and very old, or those with heart disease, cancer, and immune-system diseases.

One of the greatest threats was Zika virus. It will be weeks, perhaps months, before the total number of Zika virus transmissions from the Olympics becomes known, but at least one individual returned to her native land with the disease.

Robberies, muggings and other violence also plagued the recent Olympics, prompting one news media outlet to describe the venue as “…a potential headache for tourists”.

Staying Connected

Travel in the modern world is not only more complicated but also safer, thanks to the technological advances of the last two decades. Mobile phones keep track not only of family, but of travelers themselves, thanks to advanced GPS location tagging and emergency response capabilities.

These phones also make travel more enjoyable and less frantic by incorporating web search technology, electronic mail capabilities, camera technology, and personal databases like medication management systems and Electronic Medical Records, in case illness strikes.

Modern IOS and Android phones are even capable of tracking distance traveled, the number of steps taken or stairs climbed, calories burned, and the length and quality of sleep.

Some software applications for mobile phones, tablets and pads will even allow owners to tag the location where they parked their car, or use the camera software as a magnifying lens with a light to brighten small objects and text.  

Living Alone: Fall Prevention in the Home

The Baby Boomer generation is living longer than previous generations and according to the latest data released from the Administration on Aging, nearly 30% of older adults live alone. While many elders take pride in their continued independence, they may be more prone to suffering injuries while living alone. Elders are at a greater risk of being injured in an accident in the home involving a kitchen fire, accidental poisoning, slip and trips, and being struck by fallen objects that are out of reach.

Out of all of the accidents that occur in the home, falls are the most common and have some of the most long lasting effects.

Falls in the Home

Each year, 1 in 3 elderly individuals, 65 years or older, fall and 2.5 million older individuals are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries. Falls account for 95% of all hip fractures and are the common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in older adults. Although many falls do not result in an injury, 1 out of 5 falls results in a serious injury, such as a fracture or TBI. As a result to falling in the home and being injured, many elders may be unable to call for help right away, fail to report their accident, or delay treatment. Additionally, once an elderly individual has fallen in his or her home, they may become more fearful of falling again (subsequent falls are common) and they may be afraid to go out and about.

Reasons Behind Falls

A fall in the home can happen for any number of reasons, some common risk factors include lower body weakness, Vitamin D deficiency, and the use of medications. Additionally, as an individual ages, it’s natural for the body to become weaker and issues with vision,mobility and balance, which can also lead to falls. Some other contributing factors leading to falls in the home include poor footwear, uneven floors or steps, tripping hazards like rugs or clutter, and ice or uneven pavement on sidewalks, stairs, or driveways outside of the home.

Reducing and Preventing Falls

When an elderly individual falls in his or her home, his or her independence may come to an end, requiring in home help or even moving to a nursing home facility. While a fall can happen when an individual is being careful, prevention can reduce the chances of falling. Here are some ways to decrease fall prevention in the home so elders can extend their independent living:

  • Get a Checkup: Since issues like poor vision, medications, and even a Vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of falls, it’s a good idea to have a check up and talk with your doctor about any medications you take to see if they can affect balance or increase dizziness.
  • Stay in Shape: Getting exercise on a regular basis can help to keep your body more mobile and stronger. Consider taking a gentle yoga class to work on your balance and lower body strength.
  • Improvements in the Home: Don’t wait until you fall to fall proof your home. Take a look at the lighting. Is it too low? Install handrails, remove tripping hazards, fix areas that are likely to increase your risk of falling.
  • Ask for Help: Just because you live alone, it doesn’t mean that you have to do everything by yourself. Do you struggle with yard work, house maintenance, or shoveling snow? Ask someone to give you a hand.

Helping Seniors Cope With Stress

For seniors, living in a constantly changing world can be overwhelming and confusing. We live in a world of technological advancements, and societal and political situations that can cause fear and anxiety in anyone. The world isn’t what it once was and it can be difficult for seniors to adapt to the changes taking place. Having a health condition can be difficult for seniors as well, especially if they have a physical disability like arthritis that causes them pain and discomfort. If you are a caregiver, it is important that you create an atmosphere that is stress-free and relaxing for the senior in your life.

Seniors spent their entire life taking care of others. Retirement is their time to rest and reap the benefits that years of hard work earned them. Make sure that the senior in your life is living in conditions that bring them safety and security. Help relieve the stresses in their life.

For some seniors not working or staying active can be stressful in itself. Not being able to do the things they once enjoyed, and even losing their life partner can be emotionally crippling for some. You can help add a little sunshine to their life. Let’s explore some practical ways.

 

Ways to reduce stress

Own an animal If a senior doesn’t have allergy issues, having a pet might help cope with stress, anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that owning a pet can help seniors cope with stress, lower blood pressure, increase social interaction and even help them learn. Cats are known for their soothing and relaxing qualities.

Take a nice walk Some seniors are limited in their mobility. Having a walker may help make walking easier if they are physically disabled or in a wheelchair. Take them out for a stroll. Take a walk through a forest if you can. In Japan, there is a common practice called forest bathing that is said to be a stress reliever. Walking through nature is healing. It also helps fight anxiety and disease.

Avoid negativity If you are caring for a senior, try to avoid adding any stress to them. Turn the TV off every once in awhile and take them outside. Plan fun activities that will allow them the opportunity to engage and interact with other seniors in a positive setting. If the senior you watch is living alone or in a retirement home, help them stay active. If there are community events like an ice cream social or a game of bingo, sign them up for it. Some buildings may even offer free exercise programs. Keeping in mind any physical limitations, make sure to use sensitivity and understanding. Some seniors aren’t as comfortable in social gatherings. Don’t push them too hard. Be patience and understanding.

Vitamin Intake The older one gets the more the bones weaken. Seniors who are dealing with osteoporosis and arthritis are under much pain and stress. Vitamin C and D are boosters that help regulate calcium levels and fight fatigue and depression.

 

Have a nice conversation over coffee

Often the best stress-reliever for most seniors is a quiet and stress-free environment. Play classical music or songs that they enjoy. Sit down with them, have a cup of joe and enjoy a nice and healthy conversation. Who doesn’t enjoy a good story? Seniors have a lifetime of stories to tell, and like anyone, they appreciate someone taking the time to listen. Have some fun and enjoy a good laugh while you’re at it! Laughter is after all medicine.

Staying Active as a Senior: What to Do & How to Do It

What can you do to improve your mood, manage stress, remain cognitively agile, and improve your overall health? No matter what age you are, physical activity is crucial for your mental and physical wellbeing. If you’re hoping to have more energy even as you get older, exercise is a great way to do it. It has the ability to keep you living independently longer, and your risk of disease decreases. So as a senior, what are some good ways to stay active, and how can you do it safely? Here are some things to keep in mind.

  1. Start Slow & Take It Easy

If it’s been a while since you’ve been physically active, make sure you start slowly. The goal is to stay as healthy as possible. You’ll really want to ease yourself into exercise so you don’t sustain any kind of injury whatsoever. Don’t push yourself too hard – listen to what your body is telling you. Work your way up in intervals of maybe 10 or 15 minutes. Give yourself time and space to breathe.

  1. Make It a Priority

It’s important to understand that in order to really maximize the benefits of being active, it should be done on a regular basis. Try to develop of a routine for yourself. Having a somewhat steady routine in general can also help boost your mood. It might be easiest to try exercising first thing in the morning. Motivate yourself to get going – that way you can treat yourself by relaxing later in the day.

  1. Get Social

Invite a couple of friends to get active with you! Use this as a time where you can socialize and catch up with everyone while also doing something great for your health. The more you enjoy what you’re doing, the more you’ll want to do it!

  1. Make It Fun – Do What Works for You

What do you enjoy? You might try walking, gardening, yoga, or water aerobics. This is a great opportunity for you to explore some things you may have never tried before. Get creative, and make your daily exercise something that you have fun doing!

Switch it up occasionally as well. On nice days you can go for brisk walks with friends or put a pair of headphones in with your favorite music while you work in the yard. Walking is also great because you can do it indoors if the weather isn’t great. Water aerobics, swimming and yoga can also be done indoors, so you can get yearlong enjoyment out of them.

Consider different activities that can help improve your endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance. When you do lots of different activities, you reap the benefits of many different types of exercises.

  1. Listen to Your Doctor

Always consult with you doctor before trying anything new. It’s so important that he or she is up to date on what you’re doing. If you’re at risk for heart disease or have any health concerns whatsoever, it’s especially important you talk with your doctor beforehand. Safety is the number one priority! Listen to your doctor, listen to your body and have fun staying active!

Safe International Traveling for Seniors

International travel during your golden years can be one of the best adventures of your lifetime. Unlike traveling decades earlier, you don’t need to worry about using vacation time or returning to work after a relaxing getaway. Given the time and money involved in international travel, maybe you never had the chance until now. While traveling by air, land, or sea can open your mind to a whole new world of opportunities, it’s important to stay safe while traveling. Here are some safe travel tips when traveling abroad:

Have the Right Documents

When traveling abroad, you need to have the proper travel documents to legally enter and exit countries. If you’ve never had a passport book or passport card, you should apply for one as soon as you make your travel plans. Keep in mind that passport cards cannot be used for air travel. If you already have a passport, but haven’t traveled in a while, make sure it’s not expired. Although it can take around 6 weeks to process a passport application, it’s recommended to apply at least three months in advance.

Consider Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a good idea for any traveler, but especially for older travelers. If you are afraid of running out of medication while on vacation or falling down and getting hurt, travel insurance is a relatively inexpensive way to make you a little safer.

Travel to Safe Places

The U.S. Department of State: Bureau of Consular Affairs, strongly recommends that travelers enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (formerly known as “Travel Registration” or “Registration with Embassies”). By enrolling in the free program, travelers will be given traveling tip, including Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts. With this important information, a traveler can avoid certain areas or cancel travel plans. The program makes it easier for travelers to receive quick and accurate assistance during an emergency or if a passport is lost or stolen. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program assists with contacting family, in the U.S., if an emergency occurs during travel.

Bring Technology to Stay Connected

Even if you’re not tech savvy, it’s a good idea to bring a mobile device (such as a cellphone) to stay connected or to check in with friends and family. Before packing up your technology, whether it be an iPad, cellphone, or your medical management system, make sure it will work if traveling overseas. Additionally, before you leave, make sure your adult children or someone else knows about your travel plans, other important details, and your plan of action in the event of an emergency, illness, or even death while traveling.

Pack Light, Dress Appropriately

When traveling, it’s always a good idea to pack light. Remember, the more you take, the more you need to keep track of or may have stolen. Bring the essentials and keep valuables at home. When touring the historic narrow, cobblestone streets, make sure you wear comfortable footwear with good tread and a low heel. Don’t wear any clothing or footwear that will increase your chances of slipping, falling, or getting hurt while travel. Nothing cuts a once-in-a-lifetime trip like an injury or illness.

Medication Safety Tips for Seniors

For many seniors, taking medications becomes part of daily life in order to manage certain health conditions that often come with getting older. While some seniors may view being prescribed a drug as a negative thing, many medications can help extend one’s life and improve overall health. Whether you’ve been taking a medication for years or were recently prescribed a medication, it’s important that you know how to take your medications safely and properly. Follow these medication safety tips to avoid serious complications:

Know What You’re Taking

When your doctor prescribes you any kind of medication, short or long term, it’s important to learn as much as you can about your medication. At your appointment, it’s a good idea to take notes and jot down any questions you may have, as well as any information he or she gives you. If you’re afraid you may not understand or remember what your doctor is telling you about your medication, bring someone with you to the appointment. Here are some questions you should ask before taking your medication:

Why am I taking this medicine and what/how is it treating?
Are there any side effects? How will I feel? How will I know if it’s working?
What happens if I skip a dosage? Do I have to take it at the same time every day?
How should I take it? With food? On an empty stomach?
Are there less expensive, generic brands that work the same?

A good rule of thumb is to ask as many questions as you have and don’t leave your appointment until you feel completely informed. It’s likely that questions or concerns may come up as you take the medication, so keep track of those questions as well and save them for your next appointment or call your doctor.
Don’t Forget Your Other Medications

New medications may interact negatively with other medications you may be taking so it’s important that your doctor knows of all drugs you take from prescribed to OTC to supplements. In addition to be aware of any side effects, it’s important to know if the new medication (when taken with or without other medications) will impair your driving, can be taken with alcohol, or may worsen other medical conditions. Sometimes, even a particular food should be avoided when taking a medication so be sure to read all instructions and warnings carefully.

Keep in Contact with Your Doctor
Once you start taking a new medication, it’s important to stay in contact with your doctor. Even if you start to experience some of the “expected” side effects, it’s a good idea to keep track of how you feel (physically, mentally, emotionally) when you take your medication. If you don’t like how you feel, do not stop taking medication on your own. Always talk with your doctor before changing a dosage and an abrupt stop on a medication can cause serious health problems.

Active Senior Tips

Whatever your age, it’s never too late to get active. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), inactivity increases with age and the loss of strength and stamina, often attributed to aging, is partly due to reduced activity. The CDC reports that by age 75, about 1 in 3 men and 1 in 2 women engage in no physical activity.

 

There are numerous benefits to becoming physically active as a senior of any age. Not only does exercise help maintain the ability to live independently and reduce the risk of falling, but it also reduces the risk of dying from heart diseases and certain cancers. Exercise also helps control swelling and pain associated with arthritis. While exercise can do wonders for physical health, it can also improve and maintain mental health.

Tips For Staying Safe During Physical Activity

 

Whether you are already an active senior or wish to become more physically active, your safety is important. Here are some tips to staying safe while staying active:

 

  • Take it Slow: If you’re interested in increasing your level of activity (or you want to make significant changes in your current routine), but haven’t been active in awhile, it’s important to start out slow. By starting out slowly, you’re less likely to sustain an injury or overdue it right away. Experts recommend starting with short intervals, 5 to 10 minutes, of moderate activity and slowly build up.

 

 

  • Always Consult With Your Doctor: Every workout program comes with a warning to speak with a medical professional before starting the program. The warning is not supposed to be viewed as a mere suggestion, but rather to be taken seriously. If you are at high risk for heart disease, are diabetic, obese, smoke, or have any other health concerns, you should always check first with your doctor before exercises. Other reasons to check first include: new or undiagnosed symptoms, chest pain, or heart beat irregularities.

 

 

 

  • Choose Activities Best Suited for You: There are plenty of types of exercise that you can try. Whether you choose yoga, water aerobics, pickleball, or weight lifting, it’s important to know how to properly engage in the activity. For instance, if you fail to follow the directions on a weight machine or you aren’t sure what to do, your chances of being injured are greater.

 

Additionally, it’s a good idea to find an exercise you can do all year round or a few you

can participate in throughout the year. For example, walking is a great exercise which can be done indoors and outdoors. It can also be started out slowly and at shorter intervals, but can be easily adjusted for increased activity. For safety while walking, it’s a good idea to walk in an area that has a smooth and soft surface, and is well-lighted. It is also wise to avoid areas that intersect with traffic.

 

In addition to staying well-hydrated during your exercise, it’s important to wear comfortable clothing and wear appropriate shoes for the activity. If you begin to experience any pain or discomfort while exercising, consult with your doctor right away.

 

Prevention: Accidents in Seniors

We grow up and we move out, leaving our parents to spend the rest of their lives alone. From time to time, we may surprise them with a visit, a nice chat and maybe a lunch or two. But what’s going on with them when there’s no one to take care of them? Their bodies weaken and their senses may not be as sharp, making them more prone to accidents in their homes than the rest of us. Falling, accidental fires, poisoning, and a number of other dangerous scenarios are preventable. It is important that you make sure that your elderly loved ones can maintain their independence, while staying out of harm’s way.

Causes of Injury

The majority of accidents are from accidental falls. Most of them occur on the stairs of their home, or places where the floor is slippery, which tends to be the kitchen and bathroom. Aside from mobile falls, static ones can happen as well; these are usually falls from a bed or a chair. Any of these falls can result in fractures that require hospitalization. Studies show that one of five falls among elderly women result in such a scenario. The second biggest cause for injuries and fatalities are fire related accidents. Reasons for this are poor mobility, older equipment and appliances in their homes, and a decline in their sense of smell. The main sources causing the fires are household items such as: candles, electric blankets, heaters and cookers. Another concerning cause of accidents is accidental poisoning. Poisoning is mostly related to improper use of medication among the elderly. This can be due to difficulty reading the prescription instructions or not understanding the dosage. Accidental poisoning can also be from exposure to dangerous gases (pipeline gas and carbon monoxide).

Prevention

There are certain ways to help prevent accidents among the elderly.  Regular visits to the homes of your elderly loved ones can help assess the conditions that they are living in. Regarding falls, it is important that there are no items left on the stairs or other common areas that can become a potential tripping hazard. The stairs should be properly maintained and rugs should be avoided, especially those with repetitive patterns that can trick the eyes. All rooms and hallways should have proper lighting systems and dry floors. Preventing fires can be achieved by not smoking in the home. Electric blankets need to have regular maintenance, and drying clothes on heaters should be avoided. Furthermore, homes should always be equipped with smoke detectors and fireguards. Proper use of medications can prevent medicine related poisonings. It is important that your elderly loved one knows which medication they should be taking, in what dosage and how often. Reminding them regularly can be very helpful. Maintenance and regular checkups of all devices in the home is also necessary.

When is the Time for Daily Assistance?

A time may come when the elderly just aren’t able to take care of themselves anymore, and their safety requires constant assistance. There are some identifiable habits and behaviors which indicate the need of assistance. This can include constant and frequent trips and falls around the house or trouble moving around their own home. Accidents regarding home appliances and improper use (forgetting to turn off the stove) can signal that it is time for help. In case the person is a smoker, burn holes on their clothes or furniture is another indicator that assistance and supervision is needed.  Once assistance is necessary, it is essential to find help as quickly as possible.

Does your elderly loved one live alone?  How do you assure their safety?