Staying safe as you get older
More and more elderly people now live independently on their own. In England, over fifty-one percent of people aged 75 and over live alone. It’s important that these people maintain their safety and security, and receive help in doing so.
As the years advance our alertness fades and dementia is not always picked up on quickly. This results in carelessness and clumsiness. Also, elderly people can become isolated and cannot easily summon aid when they find themselves in trouble.
There are several important steps that can be taken to help secure a senior’s safety.
Fire protection and prevention
It’s a very sad statistic, but on average two people a week aged over sixty-five in the UK lose their lives due to accidental fires. To keep the elderly safe from fire, it’s vital that a smoke alarm be installed upon every floor of an elderly person’s residence.
Radio-interlinked fire alarms are the best way of raising an alert. Such alarms are linked so that if one is triggered, they are all triggered. This is especially beneficial if bedrooms are a distance away or on a different level from kitchens.
If an elderly resident is hard of hearing, then smoke alarms with high-intensity strobe lighting and vibration pads are available. Pads are placed beneath a person’s pillow at night, alerting them should the fire or smoke alarm trigger.
Naturally, the kitchen is the area of a home that is most associated with smoke and fire accidents. Cookers and ovens are the main culprits when it comes to kitchen fires – half of all accidental fires in residences are triggered by cooking appliances.
Stove alarms are an essential purchase for a senior’s kitchen. These alarms are triggered when a stove becomes too hot, and are particularly beneficial in homes when the resident tends to be forgetful.
Carbon Monoxide, LPG and Natural Gas protection
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is known as ‘the silent killer’ as it’s a gas that’s odourless and colourless, so it’s hard to detect before it’s too late. CO is often fed back into a room via fuelled heating appliances that have malfunctioned, are poorly maintained or have been damaged. Around fifty people per annum die in the UK because of CO poisoning, which is one per week. All homes need a CO alarm – they are cheap and effective.
LPG and gas can be used for cooking, heating and water heating. Gas cookers are particularly hazardous as if the gas is left on without being lit, an explosion will be the result. Gas alarms are available which trigger when a build up of flammable gases is detected.
If you have an elderly relative, then the best thing you can do to keep them safe is check up on them on a frequent basis. Check their homes for potential danger spots, and check all alarms and appliances that could become faulty and dangerous.
If your relative is particularly vulnerable, then make sure that should an alarm sound, it is not up to them to raise the alarm and seek help on their own.