Older Adults Toolkit

Older adults have concerns of their own, from falls to fire, and they’re the fastest growing segment of our population.

Key Points

 

Falls and fires are the two leading causes of unintentional injuries and deaths among adults 65 and older. Older adults have a higher death rate from fires compared to the general population as well. Falls are the leading cause of product-related injuries among adults 65 and older, with about two-thirds of hospital emergency room visits involving falls. Consumers should install handrails and make sure surfaces are slip-resistant. Remove impediments and other tripping hazards, and make sure stairs and other areas are well lighted. Install a smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on every floor of the home. Install a carbon monoxide alarm outside of sleeping areas. Carefully use and maintain space heaters, fireplaces and all fuel burning appliances.

 

While it's important to stay active, it's also important to play it safe. As more older adults engage in physical activities, sports-related injuries are increasing. This is especially true for those who ride bicycles, ski, lift weights and use exercise machines. The increase in injuries is due to more older adults engaging in active sports. Most of these injuries can be prevented. For example, in a CPSC study, very few of the older bikers treated in emergency rooms for head injuries were wearing bike helmets. However, wearing a bike helmet can reduce the risk of serious head injury by up to 85 percent. That's a small precaution for a big payoff.

 

Key Role as Caregiver

 

Two and a half million grandparents are taking care of grandchildren as primary caregivers and more children are with their grandparents during the day than any other type of daycare setting. With this in mind, grandparents should always put the safety of children first – from nursery to playground, grandparents must be diligent in keeping their grandkids safe.

 

Resources

 

Adult Bed Rails 

Use caution when using adult bed rails. Seniors have been caught, trapped, entangled and strangled.

 

Fire Safety Checklist for Older Consumers (pdf)

A safety booklet with seven, easy-to-follow steps to prevent fires in the home.

 

Older Consumers Safety Checklist (pdf)

Falls and fires are two leading causes of unintentional injuries and deaths among adults 65 and older. Make your home safer by following these tips.

 

Grandparents – Child Safety Tips (pdf)

This poster describes ways to make your home safer for you and your grandchildren.

 

Partners

 

National Safety Council

Fact sheets, research, and other resources designed to educate and influence people to prevent accidental injury and death.

 

AARP

The AARP Web site covers a comprehensive collection of health and safety topics.