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Safety Tips for Seniors Who Live Alone

Most seniors want to maintain their independence for as long as possible. This could mean living alone in their own home, or in an assisted care facility. For those who choose to live alone, safety is always a concern. If you or someone close to you is a senior aging in place, there are several ways to protect safety without losing independence.

Here are a few great safety tips for seniors living on their own:

Avoid slips and falls by adding non-slip pads, mats and safety railings throughout the home.

This is a relatively cheap, simple solution to protecting yourself from potentially dangerous falls. Key areas to work on are showers, tile floors, walkways, and stairs. You can find non-slip stair treads and bath appliques in just about any home store and they’re exceptionally easy to find online.

Invest in a medical alert device.

Sure the commercials may be a little cheesy, but in reality, these devices can save lives. If you’re a senior living alone, having quick access to 911 is a must. Do some research on the various brands and services to find one that works well for you. There are many different types to choose from, so don’t be afraid to shop around and request free information.

Avoid slips and falls by adding non-slip pads, mats and safety railings throughout the home.

This is a relatively cheap, simple solution to protecting yourself from potentially dangerous falls. Key areas to work on are showers, tile floors, walkways, and stairs. You can find non-slip stair treads and bath appliques in just about any home store and they’re exceptionally easy to find online.

Maintain a friendly relationship with neighbors.

That doesn’t mean you have to be best friends, but if you foster a good relationship with those who live close to you, it can be very beneficial in the event of an emergency.

Test smoke alarms regularly.

Most smoke alarms will need to have the batteries changed once or twice a year, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to check them more frequently. The National Fire Protection Association recommends checking the batteries once a month. If it helps, try to coordinate the checks with another task you usually do every month, like paying your bills. If you are hearing impaired, look into special devices that have strobe lighting and/or accessories such as bed/pillow shakers. Learn more here: http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/Files/Safety%20information/Safety%20tip%20sheets/SmokeAlarmsDisabilitySafetyTips.pdf

Always keep a list of medications and allergies.

For good measure, keep one copy in your home in a place that is easily accessible and another copy in your purse or wallet. In the event of a medical emergency, you may not be able to communicate this information right away. It could save your life to have this information handy for the people responding to the situation.

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Don’t place items in hard to reach spots.

If storage is an issue, consider downsizing by getting rid of things that you never use or use very infrequently. If you absolutely must store things in tough to reach areas, consider asking your neighbor or a family member to come help you retrieve the item you need.

Give a key to a few close family members or friends.

If you are unable to get to the door, your family and/or friends should be able to get access in the event of an emergency. If you’re worried about having too many keys floating around, consider investing in a small lockbox with one extra key and only give the combination code to the people you trust.

Remove clutter.

Cluttered walkways, hallways, floors and closets can be an invitation for nasty trips and falls. Make sure electrical cords are neatly tucked behind appliances and buy anti-slip mats to go underneath area rugs.

Ask a friend or family member to check in regularly.

You and a trusted loved one can coordinate a daily check-in, or you can simply ask a friend to touch base once a week. You may even offer to do the same for them. Keeping regular contact can help alert someone that something may be wrong when they haven’t heard from you in a while.

Buy a fire extinguisher.

Having a fire extinguisher in the home is a good idea, no matter how old you are and whether you live alone or not. However, for aging seniors on their own, it’s a must. Be sure to read the instructions beforehand so you’ll know what to do if the need arises.

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Please keep in mind that the reverse mortgage industry is constantly changing and some of the information contained on this site may not be current. Please ask a licensed reverse mortgage professional for up-to-date guidelines.