Tips to keep seniors safe, healthy in their homes

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The exercise circle is a part of everyday at Morningside Senior Living of Belmont.

“Last one, drop your arms beside you, reach behind you to the side again.”

Most days Martha, a resident at Morningside, leads the exercise. Wellness, health and safety may never be as important to another group of people.

“Your health depends on it,” said resident Joe Boyd. “Your safety depends on it as well.”

“Put your feet shoulder with apart, knees together,” Martha continues.

Each motion and step is movement in the right direction.

Photo: WKRN

“I think it gives the families peace of mind,” explained Resident Services Director Kristy Bailey.

MORE: Download a list of your family’s Emergency Contacts

And in terms of family safety, peace of mind is imperative.

“It’s life and death, and you don’t want to mess around with that stuff,” Boyd said. “No, you don’t want to mess around with it.”

Boyd, 88, and more than 100 other residents are the focus of Morningside. Care experts at the facility promote safety and independence.

Much of improving senior safety centers on avoiding falls. One in four seniors will fall, in a year’s time. In the worst cases a fall can be fatal. But they’re also preventable by providing proper lighting, removing clutter and area rugs.

“You have them down on the ground as effect when in reality it is a huge fall hazard,” says Bailey.

Morningside also offers a home safety checklist for residents, or for people with loved ones who are seniors. It focuses on accident prevention in places like the kitchen or bathroom.

Grab bars near showers and elevated toilet seats are recommended in bathrooms.

Keeping appliances raised at eye level can prevent accidents in the kitchen.

Photo: WKRN

In hallways and on stairs, handles and railings are an important safety item.

And fire safety is critical too, Boyd said.

“Is the building equipped with a good sprinkler system, if it’s not, it’s not a place I will live in,” he said.

There’s also the personal wellness component, a critical piece to this puzzle.

Boyd knows its worth. He’s a young 88-year-old, does yoga three days a week and hangs out with his granddaughter on weekends.

“She loves to come here and really enjoys this place, particularly likes to eat with us,” he said.

Morningside’s mission puts a positive spin on safety. It’s a proven process promoting a longer, productive life.

To view Morningside’s home safety checklist visit click here.

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