June is National Safety Month, and Legacy Home Health Care is raising awareness about steps you can take to keep your loved ones safe at home. By focusing on disaster preparedness, fall risks, and staying cool during the summer months, you can help prevent unnecessary injuries and hospital admissions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 25% of adults aged 65 and older experience a fall each year. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has noted a rise in heat-related deaths in the U.S., with approximately 2,302 fatalities in 2023 due to excessive heat. Additionally, Hurricane Ian in 2022 claimed the lives of over 160 people, two-thirds of whom were 60 or older and did not evacuate, opting to stay in their homes.

The National Council on Aging identifies several reasons for falls among older adults, including loss of balance and coordination, poor vision, medication side effects, and chronic conditions like diabetes, stroke, or arthritis.

Legacy Home Health Care’s skilled staff builds relationships with patients, encouraging older adults to discuss their health openly. Regular visits help with health screenings and identifying potential issues. As part of our Pathways to Independence program, our staff will check on patients’ vision. If your loved one wears glasses, it’s important to ensure their prescription is current.

A Home Health evaluation helps recognize signs such as walking into walls or furniture and difficulty getting out of a chair, which may indicate a need for physical therapy. Our licensed physical and occupational therapists can assist in strengthening muscles and developing routines to help patients maintain independent lives at home.

Through our Pathways to Independence program, we also conduct home safety walkthroughs. We check for adequate lighting, especially at the top and bottom of stairs, and ensure stair rails are secure. Installing grab bars in the bathtub, shower, and near the toilet is often recommended. Legacy Home Health Care can help you find the right resources to install safety equipment in your loved one’s home.

Here in Florida, we’ve already experienced higher-than-normal temperatures and dry conditions this year. Being prepared and working to prevent heat-related illness is key to safety in our state, regardless of age! To avoid heat-related illnesses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend:

  • Using air conditioning to cool off
  • Drinking fluids even if not thirsty, and avoiding alcohol
  • Wearing loose, lightweight clothing and a hat
  • Replacing salt lost from sweating by drinking sports drinks
  • Avoiding outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
  • Wearing sunscreen, as sunburn affects the body’s ability to cool itself
  • Pacing yourself during physical activities
  • Eating light meals

Our staff will also review medications with your loved one. If they have trouble managing their medicines or experience side effects, we encourage them to talk with their doctor and pharmacist. Keeping medications up to date and ensuring proper dosing is key to safe at-home care.

By following these guidelines, you can help ensure the safety and well-being of your loved ones. Whatever level of care you require, Legacy Home Health Care is here to bring excellent health care home to you and your loved ones.

Click more to learn how Legacy Home Health Care can keep your loved ones safe at home.