Lifematters Releases Senior Safety Checklist For National Safety Month

BETHESDA, MD–In observance of National Safety Month, the senior living experts at Lifematters have prepared a Senior Safety Checklist that families can use to help assess the living arrangements of independently living senior family members. With the number and life expectancy of Americans 65 and older skyrocketing, home safety is a critical concern for the families of aging adults. Recent US Census data reports "nearly one-third of seniors, 65 and older, are now living alone." Additionally, AARP reported an impressive "90% of all seniors wish to remain living in their home as they age." It is now more important than ever before to help seniors and their families prepare for successful and safe aging in place.

Seniors are more likely to experience serious or potentially life-threatening accidents.

According to experts at Lifematters, the largest and most comprehensive provider of senior home care and care management services in the DMV, most families are ill-prepared to step into action when a crisis arises. Moreover, little pre-planning is ever done by families to prevent "middle of the night" scrambles to respond to the needs of seniors during an emergency. In the aftermath of such incidents, families often find their lives turned upside down as they try to juggle work, personal life, and the pressing needs of aging parents.

"Our phones ring every day with calls for help from the adult children of seniors who are scrambling to address the needs of their parents in the throes of an emergency," says Mary Ann Buckley, a senior care management expert at Lifematters. "Sadly, it is often an emergency that arises before families begin to address home safety concerns for their elders." Buckley further adds, "Let's face the facts. It is difficult for most families to start viewing mom and dad in a light that would define them as less than fully capable. Added to that is the need to redefine family roles and to start questioning a senior parent's living arrangements for safety reasons. Certainly, it is an unsettling thought for most." Taking steps to prevent unnecessary risks and dangers for independently living seniors makes a lot of sense. To do otherwise all but guarantees a bumpy, danger-filled road for families.

What can be done to help seniors age in place safely?

Buckley suggests preparedness for families, starting with regularly conducted safety assessments and in-home check-ins with older family members. If seniors live far away or if check-ins are difficult for any other reason, consider enlisting the help of a senior living expert. "Aging in place typically presents new territory for families, and the help of an experienced care manager with immediate access to flexible, scalable services can make a world of difference when dealing with safety concerns or rapidly changing needs of the elderly," advises Buckley. "At a minimum, our Senior Safety Checklist is an excellent tool to start the safety preparedness process. It's easy to use and helps to familiarize families with some of the most common potential dangers found in the homes of those aging in place."