If you’re one of the growing number of over 50s who lives independently, you might be concerned about being alone in your home. While excessive anxiety about your safety can limit your enjoyment of everyday life, it’s easy to see where these fears come from: falls, burns, and poisonings are common among older people living alone, all of which are preventable.
If you’re widowed or divorced and you’re above retirement age, it’s sensible to practice personal safety in the home and try to prevent accidents wherever possible. With this in mind, here are three ways you can stay safe when you live alone.
If you’re worried about a potential break-in, practicing vigilance against burglars can help to keep you safe. Keep your windows and doors locked when you go out, and leave lights on to give the illusion that someone is home. You should also take care not to let anyone in your house who you don’t know, and install a burglar alarm to be extra cautious.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent killer, and it’s one that we’re all in danger of, regardless of age or living situation. To prevent poisoning from harmful gases, always turn your oven off when it’s not in use, and make sure you have fully-functioning carbon monoxide testers around your home, particularly near your gas boiler and oven.
To protect yourself against chemical poisoning, you should keep all medicines in their original containers and make sure they are properly labeled to avoid mix-ups. If you struggle with poor eyesight, ask your chemist to provide extra large labels so you can read the font and make sure you’re taking the right pills. It’s also a good idea to make sure cleaning products are correctly labeled. When mixed, cleaning products can create deadly gases, so you need to take care when using chemicals around the house.
Prevent Slips and Falls
If you’re worried about getting around the house safely, talk to your healthcare provider and ask for a risk assessment. Don’t let pride compromise your safety; people of any age can have an accident in the home, and there’s no shame in looking after your health. It’s also a good idea to put some preventative measures in place to reduce the likelihood of an accident, so wear non-slip shoes around the house, and clear away obstructive objects that could become hazardous. If you have rugs on your floors, tape them down or use an underlay to keep them in place.
You’re more at risk of future injury if you’ve slipped or fallen recently, or if your balance is unstable. If you have medical bills because of a slip or fall that wasn’t your fault, you might be entitled to compensation, so find a professional injury lawyer Houston to see if you could make a claim.
Living alone can make you feel vulnerable, but as long as you remain cautious about your health and safety, there’s no reason to fear. Confide in your healthcare provider and close family if you’re feeling worried, and see if there’s anything they can do to help ease your concerns.