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We have all heard the statistics about our aging population.   Today we are enjoying longer life spans and better health than ever before and the proportion of seniors in the Canadian population is expected to double by 2025.   Seniors have concerns in common with everyone else – concerns about their health, finances, security, and well-being.  We would like to share a few safety tips that we hope may prove helpful:

-Switching to a cordless phone can help a senior avoid falls.  A cordless phone means a senior doesn’t get up and rush to answer the phone, lowering the risk of tripping and falling.  This is especially important for those with balance or mobility issues.

-For elderly people who are fearful of street crime, there are some common sense precautions they can take. Money and wallets should not be displayed openly. The elderly person should avoid carrying large amounts of money around.

-Seniors who know about “scams” can avoid losing money. The Pigeon Drop is a very common scam. The swindlers offer to share a very large sum of supposedly found money with a senior. They dupe the senior into withdrawing “good faith” money from the bank and giving it to them, with the idea that they will later give them a share of the “found” money. The victim never sees them the scammer again. This senior safety tip can really pay off.

-A frail elderly person (or anyone with mobility issues) may consider wearing an alert device, so if he falls or becomes ill, the primary caregiver can be immediately contacted and emergency services can be dispatched. The house should be made as safe as possible, taking particular care of trip hazards such as loose carpets. It may be worth asking a fire officer to assess the safety of the house. It may also be wise to move a bed downstairs if the elderly person is nervous of falling

-Remember that even common drugs can impair concentration. This senior safety tip is important for all seniors, and especially those who still drive. Common drugs, even over-the-counter drugs, can significantly impair concentration.  Check with your doctor or pharmacist about common drugs and their side effects.