November 6th to the 12th is National Senior Safety Week where the Canada Safety Council has done an amazing job with providing a comprehensive list of challenges that Canadian seniors will endure on a daily basis – and a thorough list on preventative measures that can be taken to combat these issues. With the Canada Safety Council serving as a beacon and a top resource for all areas pertaining to safety – we compiled a helpful list to help prevent injuries or accidents before they happen to senior citizens.
3 ways to prevent slips and falls for senior citizens
- Check your home for any tripping or slipping hazards. This includes loose carpeting, dangerous stairwells or unlit walkways. This helpful infographic below will provide more tips.
- Exercising daily is important for Canadians regardless of age. Gentle strength-building exercises can improve stability and balance. Tai Chi is one of the more beneficial exercises seniors can do to improve their balance.
- Scheduling regular visits to the eye doctor is imperative for seniors. If you are over the age of 65, check your vision at least once a year - vision impairments are a leading cause of falls.
Safe Driving for Canadian Seniors
The Canada Safety Council reminds all drivers, and people who care about their aging loved ones, to be conscious of the physical and mental challenges that aging brings, and how it can affect their driving. Time has a way of catching up with all of us, and with it can inhibit our personal freedom and independence, usually in the form of operating a motor vehicle. Driving is a privilege that we often times take for granted, so it is important to recognize age-related changes and learn how to compensate for them.
The Canada Safety Council breaks down these tips and resources for seniors behind the wheel.
Important information regarding: Vision, Hearing and Medication
- Have regular vision and hearing examinations.
- When travelling, always wear your eyeglasses or hearing aid.
- Give yourself time to adjust to new eyeglasses and have your glasses checked periodically.
- Use medication correctly. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the effects of prescribed medications on driving. With some medicines, you may not be able to drive at all.
- Take all medications according to the instructions.
- Make sure the combination of your medications does not impair your driving skills. If you have more than one doctor, make sure all of them know everything you are taking.
Driving Tips for seniors
- Concentrate on your driving and prepare for the unexpected.
- Keep your eyes moving and watch the entire traffic environment.
- Be alert for parked cars, pedestrians and cyclists.
- Check to the side several times before turning or merging.
- Never assume you can take the right of way, even if you know it should be yours.
- When driving in the rain or in winter, reduce speed and increase following distance.
- Maintain space cushions to the sides and behind your car.
- Plan all your trips, choosing familiar routes and avoiding dense and/or high-speed traffic.
- Avoid driving at dusk or dawn, when visibility is difficult.
- Avoid prolonged hours of driving.
- Keep windshields and rear windows clean inside and out.
- Do not drive if you are emotionally upset.
- Minimize background noise. Keep radio volume, air conditioning and heater blowing units on the lowest setting.
- Never drive after consuming alcohol.
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