Welcome to the latest edition of Senior Snippets: the monthly advisory column with the older members of our community in mind, brought to you by Bryn Evans, Director of Home Instead in Sheffield.
The New Year is now in full swing and hopefully your resolutions are too. Many of you may be trying to keep active, save more money or spend more time with loved ones, but one resolution we can all make is to stay healthy and safe at home. Your home is where you should feel most secure and now is the perfect time to carry out a few quick checks which are easy to do at the start of each New Year to ensure your homes (and you) are the safest they can be.
Here are some top tips for safeguarding you and your home:
1) Change the battery in all of your smoke alarms and set yourself a reminder to then check they are working properly once a week. The New Year is all about a new start, after all!
2) Many of you may have a safe at home. With cleaners, care staff, doctors and delivery men all potentially having the code, there a few people who could get to know your code through the year. Therefore by changing the code every January, it will reduce the risk of unauthorised people getting their hands on your keys. I always say its good practice to NOT use a birth year starting with 19 as the code, because it naturally reduces the number of combinations that someone would need to try before they might gain access.
3) It’s always handy to have a list of any medication you take with your doctors contact details on display where someone can easily find it in case of an emergency. Perhaps by the telephone or on a notice board? Then, in the event of an emergency, this list could travel with you and provide useful information to those looking after you. Alongside this, it’s also useful to keep a list of emergency contacts, including any family or friends, who might need to be contacted.
4) Falls are the most common accident to occur within the home; so to lessen the risk of trips and slips, make sure to get any loose carpets or rugs fixed and keep floor space clutter free.
Of course, it’s important to stress that this advice shouldn’t make you afraid of being in your own home. Rather, I hope it simply acts as a gentle reminder to make easy checks which can significantly reduce the risk of anything serious happening.
So, this concludes the first Senior Snippets of 2015. Whilst I already have plenty of exciting topics in store for 2015, I also welcome any suggestions for future topics from you all. All you have to do is write to me at [email protected] or by post to Haywood House, Hydra Business Park, Nether Lane, Ecclesfield, Sheffield, S35 9ZX.