Did you know that every year around 300,000 seniors are hospitalized due to hip fractures? There are at least 32,000 deaths that occur from older adults falling. Not only that, older adults are more susceptible to other things like armed robbery and aggravated assault.
While this is the unfortunate truth, when seniors have a better idea of what to pay attention to and how to keep themselves safe, it can allow seniors to feel more confident and capable when it comes to their safety. To help keep you safe as you age we’re going to cover everything you need to know about keeping yourself safe from safety in your home, to safety while you travel and we’ll even touch on self-defense tactics for older adults.
If you’re a senior living in Florida, keep reading to find out the best ways to enjoy everything Florida has to offer along with other travels, all while keeping yourself safe.
Why Is Safety as a Senior So Important?
As we age, our bodies change. We might not be as agile as we used to be, our vision and hearing might not be as sharp and our bones might not be as strong. All of these things can contribute to an increased risk of injury if you aren’t careful.
Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries for seniors. And while falling might not seem like a big deal, seniors are more likely to break a bone or suffer a head injury when they fall.
Additionally, it’s important to know some of the different things to look out for and to prepare for those things. Try to consider the fact that seniors are more likely to be targeted by criminals. When seniors can identify what may limit them from escaping a threat to their safety, this will make it easier for them to determine what they might need to keep themselves safe in the case that something does happen.
Simple Ways to Make Your Home Safer for Yourself as a Senior
There are multiple things you can do to increase your safety in general. By focusing on the things that could potentially cause problems, you decrease the chance of that problem occurring. Let’s take a look at a few of the top simple things that you can do to increase how safe your home is.
Take Care of the Plants in Your Home or Consider Getting Some
If you have a lot of plants in your home, you can keep your health intact by taking good care of them. While this is more about your health, plants actually help to absorb harmful toxins from the air. They work to recycle the carbon dioxide that’s in fresh air to get rid of any pollutants or harmful toxins.
Reduce the Clutter in Your Home
Don’t underestimate what overly-cluttered areas can do. Clutter can also cause you harm such as increasing your chances of experiencing preventable falls. If you have a lot of clutter in your home, you may also have a harder time getting out of your home in the case of an emergency which could also raise your chances of experiencing a fall or another serious injury.
According to the CDC, adults that are 65 and older fall every second of every day in the U.S. The reason this is such an issue is that falls are the top cause of injury-related deaths of seniors. Keeping your home clutter-free can make it safer for you and even the grandkids.
Have an Escape Plan in Place
The purpose of an escape plan is to have a planned response when it comes to different accidents or signs of danger. An escape plan should be easy to follow and is meant to get you out of a dangerous situation as quickly and safely as possible.
You want to know the easiest escape routes that will allow you to exit your home in the case of an emergency. Additionally, you want to ensure that you have multiple ways to call for help in the chance that the situation calls for it.
Lock Your Doors
This might go without saying but, lock your doors and windows when you leave your home and keep them locked even when you are at home. The burglary rate in Florida is around 240.6 for every 100,000 residents so you want to ensure that you are taking proper precautions and not leaving entry into your home so vulnerable.
When ensuring that your home is secure you could also do a few other preventative tactics like keeping a close eye on your home security cameras or having a security system installed if you don’t have one already.
How to Keep Yourself Safer While Traveling as a Senior
When traveling, it’s important to keep yourself as safe as possible by staying aware of your surroundings. Try to avoid isolated areas or places that you aren’t familiar with. If you are traveling alone, make sure to stay in public areas or with people you know if you joined a travel group. This means trying your best to not stray from your tour guide or tour group if you are part of one. As another tip, avoid drinking too much alcohol.
When you are under the influence, you are more prone to injury and accidents. This is also an opportunity for others to attempt to take advantage of your being temporarily impaired. If you are going to be driving while on a vacation and you’re alone, always park in well-lit and well-populated areas. You want to also ensure you have enough gas at all times to avoid having to stop at times of the day or night that might not be the most ideal.
Self-Defense Tactics for Seniors
If you’re a senior in Florida, learning self-defense tactics could go a long way. It could also help you to feel more comfortable in certain situations if you’ve been taught how to protect yourself and you’re physically able to do so. If you feel the need to learn self-defense tactics keep in mind that self-defense doesn’t always have to be physical fighting. Some of the different ways you can help to protect yourself are to carry some type of protective weapon.
It doesn’t have to be a firearm, it could be anything, from pepper spray to a stun gun. You could also opt into taking professional self-defense courses. Also, self-defense tactics are meant to help you protect yourself if someone tries to physically hurt you or poses any harm to you. They are great tools to have to help you buy time until help arrives or to directly handle an imminent issue.
Keeping Yourself Safe at All Times
Keeping yourself safe is important for every senior. When it comes to safety, it’s best to keep an eye out for things that could be dangerous and make sure you are prepared especially when you’re alone. While seniors are often seen as more vulnerable, just like any other age group, taking precautions to protect our wellbeing can help. If seniors take the time to prepare and are proactive, you could increase your chances of preventing certain dangers.
Simple things like making sure someone knows where you are at all times, wearing panic and medical alert jewelry, and carrying a protective device like a stun gun are all great places to start. Remember, the best way to keep yourself safe is to be prepared and to remain aware of not just our surroundings but our limitations as well.