Making Homes Safer for Utica Area Seniors

February 26, 2019

Many of our clients are living longer and healthier lives, enjoying retirement at home. Thing is, as people get older they must often make adjustments to accommodate changes in their physical abilities. We see so many people in the Mohawk Valley experiencing this new reality that we thought it would be a good idea to offer some helpful tips on making the home safer for seniors.

We went to to find out more.

Emergency Phone Numbers
Keep a list of important phone numbers by the phone. Make sure it’s written in large letters and numbers so it’s easy to read. Include 911 and a family member or friend to call in an emergency. It’s also a good idea to include the senior’s healthcare provider.

As memories fail, we’ve seen seniors put small photos next to the numbers so they will be reminded who they’re calling.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number one cause of injuries and deaths among older Americans is falls. In fact, every second of every day in the U.S. an older adult falls.

The first piece of advice is to see your healthcare provider if you have trouble walking or have fallen in the past year. He or she can recommend exercises, a change in diet, or a cane or walker. Also, get an eye exam. You might discover the need for an update in your eyeglass prescription.

Look into an alarm that you wear as a bracelet or necklace. If you fall and can’t get to the phone, just press a button and emergency services will be contacted.

Don’t rush to answer the phone. Let the answering machine pick up or use a cell phone that’s with you at all times.

Remove throw rugs that may slip or that have upturned edges. It’s easy to fall over these no matter how old you are. If you’re a senior, best to roll them up and get them out of the way.

The main thing with falling is to convince yourself as a senior that falling is one of the most serious injuries you face. The consequences can be devastating. If you keep this in mind it will be easier to change your behaviors to lessen the chance for a fall.

Seniors often forget the stove is on. Or they place the wrong things in the microwave, such as flammables or aluminum foil. If this is happening it may be time to provide meals in a new way.

We know of families who have divided up the days amongst themselves with each member taking a different day each week to have lunch and dinner with their senior relative. Or meals on wheels or other delivery services work to keep seniors away from the stove and microwave.

Some other fire preventatives are to stop using candles, install smoke detectors, and try not to use space heaters.

Grab bars installed in the shower and near the toilet make bathroom visits much easier. Also, rubber mats in the tub prevent slipping. You can also install a special tub chair or bench and toilet seats that are easier to get on and off.

It is a wonderful sign of the times that our seniors here in the Utica area are able to live longer lives while also enjoying home. But it’s important to remove all fall, fire, and bathroom hazards as we get older. Safety is a big concern as we age, so taking precautions helps make life at home the best it can be.

Until next time,
Your SZW Team

SZW Insurance is your Utica area Trusted Choice™ independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.