Aging causes a number of changes that can lead to increased risk for accidents, injuries and losses. Understanding these risks can help you to avoid them and ensure your safety as you go about your daily tasks in life. Here are a few of the most common risks for elders and how you can avoid negative consequences from them.
Fall and Tripping Hazards
Vision impairment, medication effects and loss of muscle tone often occur in older individuals, which can make them vulnerable to falls and tripping hazards. Loose electrical cords, area rugs, unsuitable footwear and irregularities in floor levels can cause significant risk for injury. Keeping a well organized home can help to reduce the risk for injury. However, in the outside world, seniors may encounter a number of hazards. In some cases, you may need a personal injury attorney to represent you in cases of obvious neglect of premises or other conditions.
Effects From Illnesses or Medications
Illnesses can also cause risks to safety and well being. Older individuals often develop osteoarthritis, which can have a significant impact on mobility. Other conditions can cause muscle weakness, poor balance, loss of coordination or other problems. Even the medications you take to manage health conditions can cause balance disturbances or vision problems. Always talk to your doctor about any side effects you might experience from medications.
Driving is an activity that can involve a number of risks. Seniors may have impaired vision from eye diseases of aging. Reaction time may slow. Older people often have more difficulty getting in and out of vehicles or turning in the seat to see behind them. Being aware of your limitations can be important in ensuring your safety as you drive, and being realistic can also inform you when it’s time to stop driving and use other forms of transportation.
Getting older can also entail financial risk, from losing a purse or wallet or trusting an individual that takes advantage of you. Seniors should always be skeptical of offers that seem too good to be true and individuals who get too familiar too quickly. These situations can sometimes lead to financial losses.
Asking for help from trusted family and friends is the best option for seniors to get assistance on a variety of issues. Government agencies also offer a wide range of programs to assist seniors. Church groups can also be a good resource to get help with everyday life. If you are in need of help, don’t be afraid to reach out to interested parties who have the knowledge and experience to assist you.