Every year in the month of May, the Administration for Community Living leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month. The 2019 theme, Connect, Create, Contribute, encourages older adults and their communities to:
- Connect with friends, family, and services that support participation.
- Create by engaging in activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.
- Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.
Communities that encourage the contributions of older adults are stronger! By engaging and supporting all community members, we recognize that older adults play a key role in the vitality of our neighborhoods, networks, and lives.
Safety Tips To Celebrate Older Americans Month
May 1 – We always recommend to remove rugs throughout the house – it’s simply TOO easy to trip over them. BUT – if you absolutely insist on having rugs in your house please make sure that they all have anti-slip pads underneath them.
May 2 – Spend an afternoon with your favorite senior citizen doing something they enjoy doing. It could be as simple as going to the park, visiting a museum, watching a movie or just hanging out on the front porch with a glass of lemonade.
May 3 – Take advantage of all the amazing tools and adaptive equipment available today to make your life easier and safer.
May 4 – Grab bars are a great piece of adaptive equipment but don’t think that they are just for the bathroom. They can work in any room of the house.
May 5 – Using the right pieces of adaptive equipment can not only make life easier but safer for anyone, no matter what age they are.
May 6 – Be smart and avoid stepping on wet or damp surfaces. If a spill occurs – make sure to clean it up immediately.
May 7 – Falls are one of the most prevalent reasons that seniors are hospitalized. Be vigilant in preventing falls by wearing anti slip footwear, installing anti slip flooring or adding anti slip products to your floors. And don’t forget to use grab bars and hand rails as needed.
May 8 – Clutter is another reason many elderly homeowners fall. Clean out your house of all the things you do not need. Keep one sentimental item instead of 100. Gift items to your friends and family or donate them.
May 9 – Make sure your fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are working and make sure you have an easy to use fire extinguisher that is easy to get to. In fact, have a few of them throughout the house.
May 10 – Have your dryer vents cleaned out at least once a year (ideally it should be done every 3 months) There are 2,900 fires every year in the USA caused by dryer vents due to lack of being cleaned out.
May 11 – If you insist on using a portable heater, make sure that there is at least 3 feet of cleared space around the heater. But generally, it’s not recommended to use a portable heater.
May 12 – Clean out your refrigerator and pantry on a regular basis. Do not keep expired food in the house and never eat anything that is past it’s expiration date.
May 13 – If you are on a special diet – avoid having food that is not on your diet in the house. Temptations can get the best of us.
May 14 – Never respond to a link in an email – even if it seems to come from a legitimate source. Instead, go to Google and go directly to your account associated with the company that is sending you the email. If you do not have an account with that company – then it’s most likely a scam.
May 15 – Do not leave the kitchen while you are cooking – it’s always best to stay in the kitchen just in case a pot boils over or grease spills out from a pan, etc.
May 16 – If you have a gas stove, consider installing a gas safety device that can automatically turn the stove off in case you forget and leave it on.
May 17 – Make sure to keep all electrical cords and extension wires safely tucked away to avoid tripping over them.
May 18 – Get rid of junk mail as soon as it comes in. A shredder is a great tool to have in the home for this.
May 19 – With so many telemarketers today targeting seniors – it’s important to be vigilant. If you pick up the phone and it’s not someone you know and you suspect it’s a telemarketer – hang up right away.
May 20 – If you enjoy using candles – make sure they are in a place where they won’t be tipped over. Also, set up a timer to remind you to blow them out (just in case you forget and go to bed!).
May 21 – Have a fire escape plan in place and practice it at least once a year. It’s important to know what to do just in case a fire does break out.
May 22 – Keep any areas in the yard of your home clear of debris to avoid tripping and falling.
May 23 – Nightlights throughout the house are extremely useful. Especially nightlights that automatically turn on when the room gets dark.
May 24 – Replace standard towel racks with more secure grab bars just in case your senior loved one grabs on to it to help prevent a fall.
May 25 – Shower chairs and benches are great but some seniors may prefer to use a three-in-one commode because it has side arms and back support.
May 26 – Setting the water heater to 120 degree Fahrenheit will help to prevent the water from getting too hot for delicate older skin.
May 27 – Lift chairs and lift recliners are perfect for any elderly person who may have a difficult time getting up from a seated position.
May 28 – Low pile carpeting is the best type of carpets for seniors and the best to use if someone is using a cane or walker.
May 29 – Stair treads are easy to install on wooden staircases and can prevent a slip and fall at very little cost.
May 30 – Use the many volunteer organizations available that provide help for anyone who is unable to care for their pet. Do all you can to help your senior loved one keep their pet.
May 31 – Falls are one of the top concerns for most older adults. A good majority of them can be prevented if you take the right steps to declutter your environment, make your flooring as non slip as possible, avoid using rugs, keep your living environment organized and use the right tools such as canes, stair treads, etc.