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How to Stay Safe When Seniors Go Out
Guest Post By: Karen Smith
You might have parents who are starting to get old and it’s natural to worry a little about their safety when they go out. Getting older doesn’t mean you can’t go out and have fun but it’s important to be more careful. Older people are more vulnerable to falls due to loss of mobility and reduced strength. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in four Americans aged 65 and over has a fall each year. Seniors also risk getting lost if they have dementia. So to keep elderly people safe when they go out, we’ve come up with some suggestions to avoid accidents.
1. Buy Them a Personal Alarm
One of the best ways to protect your older parents when they go out is by purchasing a personal alarm as this device will improve their safety when they go out. A personal alarm monitors the safety of older adults both at home and outside the home. Regardless of where they are, their security is guaranteed because help is just a click away. If they feel that they are in danger, then all that they need to do is press the button. A signal will be transmitted and received by an emergency monitoring center who will then take appropriate action, including informing family.
A personal alarm is lightweight so it’s easy for older adults to carry anywhere they go as they can be worn on the wrist or around the neck. They are simple, easy to use and allow the wearer to get in immediate contact with someone if they are unable to move or have anyone near them to assist.
2. Bring Medication
If your older parents take medication then you should make sure they carry it on them when they go out. Don’t assume that they will get back home in time to take their medication as something could delay them, such as a traffic jam or an event going longer than scheduled. So make sure they always take their medication with them if they’re required to take it multiple times a day.
3. Wear Sunscreen
People were not as aware of the dangers of skin cancer as they are nowadays, so make sure your older parents wear sunscreen if they’re going outside. Not only sunscreen but a hat and long-sleeved clothing if you’re going out at the hottest part of the day. A study conducted by the BBC in 2009 found out that older skin is less able to protect itself from damaging UV rays so elderly people are more vulnerable to skin damage. The American Academy of Dermatology stresses the importance of wearing sunscreen regardless of age. Remember the sun is always dangerous even if it’s cloudy outside.
4. Wear Comfortable Shoes
Risk of falls increases when older people are outdoors. One of the best ways to protect older people from falls or trips is by wearing comfortable shoes with good grip to prevent them from slipping and falling. Experts recommend that seniors should wear enclosed flat shoes with rubber soles.
5. Consider Buying a GPS Tracker for Senior Drivers
Driving a car is an excellent way for older people to retain their independence and stay active. However, senior drivers may lose their way or, if the car breaks down, they may be vulnerable. One way to help ensure the safety of senior drivers is to install a GPS tracking device in their car. Then, if they need help, you will be able to locate them and go to their aid. Some of the best GPS tracking devices for vehicles also send alerts to your phone. So, you could receive an alert to let you know when your parents have arrived safely at their destination.
Karen Smith has been working for MePACS as the Head of Sales and Marketing for the last four years and has over 20 years experience in health, technology, digital and finance industries.