Safety Tips For Older People II

by Frederick Akinola
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Two people helping an old man up from his bed

When people get older, it is advisable to pay more attention to safety, as the body is not as strong as it used to be. As we age, our coordination may suffer and we may have trouble with our eyesight and sense of balance. Even though old age often brings physical challenges, you can take practical steps to enhance the personal safety and the quality of the life of your loved ones. Let’s see what you need to do.

Maintain Health and Strength

Even if your elderly parents have difficulty standing or walking, they can still exercise and benefit from it. In fact, in most cases, they have more to lose by not doing anything. Among other things, physical activity can help combat heart disease, joint pain, osteoporosis, and depression. It can improve circulation, digestion, and sleep, and it can enhance self-confidence and alertness.

Good Diet

In regard to diet, avoid meals that lack vitamins and minerals, even if they are quick and easy to prepare. Older people especially need food high in vitamin D and calcium, both of which can help to maintain bone mass or at least slow the loss of it. So try to ensure that they eat meals that include whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Check with a doctor before you make major changes in their eating habits. He or she may suggest useful dietary options or foods avoid because of certain health factors.

Help Them Stay Hydrated

Ensure that senior citizens stay well hydrated. Dehydration, which is common among older people, especially those living alone or in nursing homes, can predispose one to falls, confusion, constipation, poor skin elasticity, infection, and even death.

Make Their Home Safer

Most falls occur at home. Yet, by taking a few practical precautions, you can significantly reduce that risk.

The Bathroom

The bathroom floor can be slippery. The floor should provide good footing when wet. Also, make sure that the toilet seat is high enough for them to sit and stand without too much exertion. Keep night lights on and provide a flashlight.


Depending on the age and condition of the elderly, there shouldn’t be stairs at all. However, if there are, make sure it is uncluttered, in good condition, and well-lit. They should have stable handrails on both sides if possible. The stairs should never be wet or slippery.  Walking up and down stairs can help older ones to maintain leg strength. If they have balance problems, however, they avoid using stairs alone.


The kitchen floor ought to be nonslip. Items in the cupboards should be neither too high nor too low but easy to access without assistance. Ensure they avoid climbing. To prevent tripping, you should repair, replace, or remove frayed carpets, lifted linoleum, or broken tiles. If you notice anything that needs attention that you cannot safely attend to yourself, seek help.

Have someone available at all times. Never leave older people on their own, in case of an emergency. The person should always have a phone handy and be quick on their feet. For more tips on caring for your older family members, check here.

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