National Safety Month helps keep seniors safe

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Mishawaka A recent survey of ER doctors showed that nearly half of all home accidents by seniors can be avoided. That's why a group of people, right here in Michiana are working to change that this month. June is National Safety Month.

Folks at Home Instead Senior Care are advocates for home safety as a way to reduce risk for seniors. That’s why this month they are promoting a checklist they have put together that will help get rid of those risks.

“If you think about it, a whole career, a whole life is spent accumulating things and you finally get your home just like you like it and then someone comes in and says 'well, you need to pick up those throw rugs, you need to get rid of those knickknacks, you need to do all this stuff,' people don't want to do that so it does require a checklist, sometimes it helps to have a third party to do it because seniors know pretty well how to push the buttons of their own kids,” explains Senior Care Expert JP Hoyer.

Hoyer says the place with the most hazards is in the bathroom. The bathroom is typically a wet place so it’s easy to slip. There are also sharp and hard objects in there that could pose a hazard. Take a look at your bathroom and make sure you have grab bars so it’s easier to get in the shower or sit down. Also, get rid of the throw rug because it could cause you to trip.

Another room that could be filled with hazards is your living room.

“Typically in living rooms and places like this one, everything is really tight and so it's hard to get around even if you're a younger person,” adds Hoyer. “So, when you're walking with canes and walkers, it's an opportunity to fall every day. People do have throw rugs everywhere because they're decorative and nice so those trip hazards with walkers and canes, it’s easy.”

“A lot of times you break a hip, break a leg and when that happens, it's really difficult for seniors who are often frail anyway to recover, so they go to these rehab places for 20 days and then they come home frailer than they went in and it's hard for them, it helps to have someone at home to support them. When you come home after a fall you don't want to rehab, you need to rehab,” Hoyer continues.

Hoyer and his team at Home Instead Senior Care not only provide a checklist, room by room, that points out these hazards but they will also come to your home and look around for free. For more information just call 574 256-1479 or go to their website.

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