When out-and-about, it is impossible to control every single variable, but there are some things that can be planned and controlled that can help to keep seniors safe.
When it comes to being out in public, there are many factors at play that can impact the sense of safety and security that seniors and their caregivers feel. It can be challenging to overcome some of the worries that come to mind, but with some planning, strategies, and routines in place, seniors and their caregivers can feel more at ease and more able to enjoy their time without constantly worrying about safety.
Think About Safety
When it comes to safety, preparation is incredibly important. In order to feel safe and secure, seniors need to know that they have what they need, they know what to do, and that things are set up in a way that keeps them safer.
Whenever we leave the house, we have things we need to remember, whether it be our cell phones, keys, wallets, or other similar necessities. For seniors, this list might be a little bit longer if they require things like medication, mobility devices, or attire for weather protection. Setting up a system to make sure all of these things get remembered can be part of a larger overall system that encourages seniors not only to remember to bring along the belongings they need, but also to engage in behaviours that will help to keep them safer.
Having a check-list of things to remember can help seniors to engage in all the safety-promoting behaviours that can help provide peace of mind. Along with remembering to bring necessary items, seniors should add the following to their list of safety measures whenever they go out for a day-trip or excursion:
- Know Where You Are Going: Seniors should plan out the route that they intend to take somewhere so that they can avoid getting lost, and so that they have the opportunity to check out where services are located in the area should they encounter any problems.
- Tell Someone: Having someone be aware of where seniors are going and when to expect them home can help provide greater ease and can allow people to know where to go if a problem arises and they need to come looking. Some families find using the tracking apps on cell phones helpful so that it is easy to always check in on seniors’ locations as they progress through their day and back home.
- Bring Medication: Even if seniors aren’t planning to be out of the house at the time they need to take medication, it is helpful to always carry some around in case there is a delay or something prevents them from getting home in time to take it. Seniors who have a Medical Alert bracelet should also make sure to wear it at all times when they are out-and-about for safety and security.
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings: Sometimes, to see potential sources of danger, we need to look out for them with a little intention. Seniors should always make sure that they are keeping an eye out for cars, other people, and situations that they need to be aware of as they are going about their day. This doesn’t mean obsessively worrying about constant sources of danger, it just means being aware of what is going on in the surrounding area and adjusting appropriately to avoid things like walking too close to a car or crossing the street at an unsafe place. In order to be the most tuned-in to what is going on, it can also be important not to be distracted by things like music in earphones that can dull or distract senses when hearing surrounding sounds is important.
Feelings of safety and security are important for an overall sense of wellbeing. For seniors, a little planning and forethought can go a long way in making the world outside of the home feel like a more comfortable and safe place.