National Night Out takes place on the first Tuesday of August – this year, it’s August 1st. This is a nationwide community event in which you can learn more about police-sponsored programs in your area, such as neighborhood watch groups, drug prevention and safety information.
Accompanied by food, music and safety demonstrations by local emergency personnel, National Night Out is the perfect reminder for seniors and their caregivers to refresh themselves on essential safety advice.
Prescription Drug Safety
Check in with your doctor or pharmacist regularly to review all of your medications and make sure you understand your current prescriptions and doses.
All of your medications should be clearly and properly labelled. Set reminders for yourself to help you better remember to take your medicine on schedule and create habits. Lastly, be sure to dispose of old or unused prescriptions, so you don’t take them by accident.
Kitchen and Fire Safety
Kitchen accidents can occur frequently, so it’s important to take extra precautions in this particular room. Make sure that your lights properly illuminate your work areas. Keep sharp objects stored away when you’re not using them.
When cooking, point pot handles to the sides and avoid wearing loose clothing, so you won’t accidentally knock anything over or catch your clothing on the burners. Never leave cooking food unattended. Regularly check the batteries on your fire detectors and always have a fire extinguisher within easy reach.
Fall and Accident Prevention
Prevent falling and other accidents by keeping your home clean and clutter-free, and removing scatter rugs or taping them securely to the floor. Make sure to take your time as you move, keeping rooms well-lit and holding on to railings on stairs or in bathrooms. Wear non-slip socks or install carpets over slippery surfaces to help you keep your footing. Install a medical alert system, especially if you know you’ll be home alone at times.
Additionally, consider home automation options, like smart security or smart lights, which can give you added convenience and protection. Smart lights are motion-activated, turning on automatically when you enter a room, so you don’t need to fumble in the dark for a light switch. Security options, like cameras, can give you a visual of whoever is at your door, so you can easily verify their identity.
Stay safe when driving by always wearing your seat belt and locking the doors before you begin driving. Avoid driving at night, in bad weather, or in heavy traffic. Also avoid driving if you don’t have your glasses or hearing aid on you, or if you’re feeling tired or sick.
Before you drive, make sure to check your medications to see if they impair your ability to drive safely. If you don’t feel safe to drive, but still need to get somewhere, remember that there are always other options, like taxis, public transportation or the help of friends and family.
Staying financially safe is just as important as staying physically safe. Never give your social security number to anyone. Remember to never leave your purse or wallet unattended, and try not to carry large amounts of cash. Shred any papers that list personal or financial information.
Stay alert for potential scams when using the phone or Internet, especially when coming from an unknown phone number or email address. If possible, take some time to learn about common scams that target seniors, so you’ll know what kinds of situations to avoid.
While many of these tips may seem like common sense, it never hurts to review safety advice for yourself or your loved ones. If you’re attending your community’s National Night Out, feel free to ask your local emergency personnel any questions you might have about safety or home security. They’ll be there to give you more detailed instructions or advice specific to your individual situation.