Safety Tips for Seniors Who Live Alone

By Shanon Gallagher, MiCAFE Network Screening Integration Coordinator at Elder Law of Michigan

Most people enjoy the independence of living on their own, so it is not surprising that you and your loved ones would prefer to continue to live on your own for as long as possible. However, as you age you may go through subtle changes that make you more susceptible to accidents. According to the National Council on Aging, slips and falls are the main source of injury among older adults. Start of Care Home Health has some easy safety tips to help prevent injuries for you or your loved ones.

  1. Declutter your house. Remove fall hazards such as rugs and magazine racks so that you have ample space to walk around.
  2. Make sure you have proper lighting. Install light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs, put nightlights in the bathrooms and hallways, and make sure your closets have ample lighting.
  3. Ensure your bathroom is safe. Leave a nightlight on at night, install hand bars in the bathtub and by the toilet, and use a non-slip bathmat.
  4. Have a first aid kit available. Make sure it is filled with a water bottle, batteries, flashlight, prescriptions, and emergency phone numbers.
  5. Keep a close circle of friends. If possible, check-in with friends and family as often as possible to let them know how you are doing.
  6. Stay in good health. Take a walk and/or exercise daily and see your primary physician regularly. Be sure to be honest with your doctor if something is bothering you. Also, make sure you are taking the right dosage of your medications. Mixing them or taking the wrong dosage could cause dizziness, thus increasing your risk of falling.

Because slips and falls are the main cause of injury as you age, it is important to have safety measures in place. As an older adult, you may find your motor skills are not as quick, you may have limited vision, and your muscles may weaken over time. Following these simple safety tips can help ensure that you or your loved ones will be safe living independently.

Shanon Gallagher is a Screening Integration Coordinator at Elder Law of Michigan and has been a member of the Elder Law of Michigan team since November 2019. As a Screening Integration Coordinator, Shanon helps Michigan seniors navigate the benefits application process and helps raise awareness of benefits through outreach events.