One factor that many overlook as they age is safety. To many criminals, the elderly can be seen as easy marks as their lowered mobility reduces their ability to resist any form of concentrated strong-arming. Caregivers also have to worry about such a thing. As most caregivers are women, they are often faced with the realization that they could, potentially, be taken as targets for any patrolling criminal. Then again, as people age the home itself can become a hazard to personal safety in more ways than one.
There are preventative measures to prepare for those issues, however. Many of them, in fact, are not only easy to install but cost effective.
Release the Hounds
One thing that a burglar will not tell you is that they hate dogs. It’s pretty much a given if you think about it. They make noise, they bite, and often are the equivalent of mobile furry alarm systems. Even a Chihuahua could, if given enough provocation (which isn’t a lot for a Chihuahua), wake up half of a small neighborhood. A thief wants quiet and to get in and out of an area without being noticed, loot in tow. Having three to five pounds of pure fury attached to their ankle will not only blow their cover, but could seriously damage a good pair of socks.
After obtaining your furry companion, you have to make sure that people know that such a creature is in your possession. A small sign indicating that, yes, a dog resides there could itself throw off potential crooks. You might not even need the dog as the sign is a pretty natural deterrent on its own. But, the dog can server a multitude of other purposes.
While walking a dog could assist you in maintaining some mobility through exercise, having a service animal could help in other ways. Many dogs have been trained to watch out for signs of strokes, epilepsy, or help with the most basic of tasks. Not only are they loyal companions with implied guard duty, but they can help you get the paper, alert others if you have fallen or any of the other wonderful things that trainers have specialized in over the years.
In summary, a dog isn’t just a pet. While their companionship is worth its weight in gold, a properly trained canine can make your home safer, be it through natural guard instincts or through specialized services that make your life easier.
Make Your Home Your Castle. Just a Safe Castle.
Most accidents occur in the bathroom. That’s a shocking statistic, but if you think about it, it seems obvious. There are no soft surfaces, excluding the occasional floor mat, and everything seems rough or sharp as to promote ease of cleaning. Actually, if you think about it, your bathroom looks like the equivalent of a crime scene waiting to happen. All of the glass and tile, porcelain and chemicals. It’s no wonder that sometimes you can fall there, and not be able to get up. (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6022a1.htm)
Grabbing a set of bath assist bars at our local hardware store can make a world of difference. If you’re taking a shower or a bath, there’s going to be water present. The smallest of splashes could turn a floor into a sliding death slide. These easy to install, less than 30 dollar items could save you, or someone you love, from a trip to the ER. Don’t be ashamed to add those assistance rails near the bathtub as well. If there’s tile, there could be potential for slippage. Your socks don’t necessarily have the right grip to hold onto the tile as you place yourself on and off the toilet. If your footing does fail you, having a rail handy could prevent the worst case scenario.
Also, when checking your bathroom, fight the impulse to throw more and more rugs on the floor in an effort to create a makeshift airbag in case of a fall. While the idea is nice, rugs are prone to bunching up and could potentially trip you. Remember that moderation is the spice of life.
It might also be advisable to consider removing chemicals from the kitchen and any area that someone elderly could reach them. Some people suffering from dementia can forget the simplest of things and what looked like salt was really drain cleaner. That, of course, if the worst case scenario, but it’s better to be safe now than sorry later.
Don’t Be Afraid To Get an Alarm System
Most alarm companies can install a system and monitor for a lot lower cost than most anticipate. Many telephone and cable companies even offer it as an add-on to available packages, increasing the value dramatically. On top of that, many home insurance companies will offer discounts if you maintain alarm coverage as their backsides are covered ever so slightly.
By reducing your own risks and being proactive, you’re lowering their risks. Think of it as a scratching of each other’s collective backs. Not to mention, you get a spiffy sign to place in your windows and on your lawn.
You Can Do It
Whether you decide to get a German shepherd or a tiny Pomeranian, or put the rails on walls to accent your twenty bathroom rugs, remember to remain calm. Don’t let your imagination run away with you or start worrying incessantly. Yes, you could fall or someone could break a window, but as long as you’re alert and you’re prepared, things are going to be okay.
You don’t have to wrap your tables in plastic or decorate your walls and floors with bubble wrap (though it could be more fun than anyone will admit) in order to feel safe. You just have to be aware and cautious. Don’t run out and arm your roof with Gatling guns or high pressure water pistols (though, again, that could be dramatically entertaining). Do what you need to feel safe and secure.