June is National Safety Month, which makes it the perfect time to take stock of your home and habits to assess for potential risk factors.
We’ve outlined a few key areas to keep you and your aging loved ones physically, emotionally, and financially safe at home.
Falls can be extremely dangerous for adults aged 65 and older, so checking for home safety is key!
Take a walk around your/your loved one’s home and use a home safety checklist to spot areas for improvement. Some things to look out for include linoleum, tile, and hardwood floors (carpeted floors are safest for seniors); tripping hazards such as loose rugs or electrical cords; and slippery bathroom floors.
Be sure to secure the ends of any area rugs to the floor with carpet tape, and consider adding handrails, chairs, and non-skid rugs in the bathrooms.
For older adults who have house cleaners, maintenance people, or other assistance at home, consider installing indoor and/or outdoor security cameras. Video doorbells can also provide an extra sense of safety, as most have a microphone enabling your loved one to have a conversation without opening the door.
These technologies can also send notifications to a family member’s mobile device, so you can look out for a loved one and protect against theft, abuse, and other crimes.
Scam and Fraud Prevention
The Federal Trade Commission reports that financial abuse and scams are on the rise in the United States, and our aging population is often the most vulnerable. The majority of fraud cases begin with a phone call.
Rebecca Paul, Esq., Director of Fiduciary Services at Seniors At Home, says, “It’s very common for a senior to get confused by talented scammers and end up sending money or giving personal information over the phone.”
Don’t get scammed—before sending money to anyone, check out the story and get a second opinion, even if the caller sounds desperate for urgent action.
Be sure to never give financial information over the phone. Banks and lending organizations do not call requesting personal information over the phone like social security numbers, credit card numbers, or a date of birth. Nor will a bank or lender send text messages requesting a call on a special phone number
Fortunately, new technology is making it easier to prevent phone scams and spam. Companies like Elefend offer technology to monitor and analyze phone calls while they are taking place, blocking unwanted robocalls (while sending legitimate ones via text message), detecting scams and spam during a call, providing audio warnings, and even dialing in a trusted contact when a scam call is identified.
(Elefend is generously offering the Seniors At Home community 50% off for phone protection—learn more here!).
If you are concerned that a loved one’s safety is at risk, there are professionals who can help.
For example, hiring a licensed fiduciary may be an excellent option to help oversee an older adult’s finances and ensure that their finances are safe.
Additionally, many older adults and their families choose to hire an in-home caregiver to help keep them safe at home. Professional caregivers can help with meal preparation, medication management, fall prevention, assistance with bathing, and many other areas of care.
With the proper safety precautions and help in place, many seniors can enjoy life at home without the risks of household hazards.
Learn more about how Seniors At Home can help, or call us any time for a free assessment at 415-449-3700.
Seniors At Home is a division of Jewish Family and Children’s Services, a trusted nonprofit institution that has been providing care since 1850. Our services are funded by fees and by donations for those who cannot afford the full cost of care for these critical services.
If you would like to make a donation, please contact Barbara Farber at [email protected] or 415-449-3858, or give online.