Home Safety is Coming Up in June

Home is the one place that everyone should feel safe. Unfortunately, there are dangers lurking inside the homes of many seniors putting them at risk of injury. Surroundings that were harmless in younger days may prove hazardous for older adults who are visually challenged, unsteady on their feet, or those who rely on transport equipment such as a walker or cane.

Fall risks such as throw rugs, poor lighting, and steps without hand rails are among commonly overlooked hazards that can create an unsafe environment. One in every three adults age 65 and older will fall every year, making this accident the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults, according to the CDC.

Home health care provides solutions for seniors who may be unaware of problem areas in their home. This is one of the many benefits of bringing caregivers into the home. Home health associates evaluate both a patient’s indoor and outdoor environment for fall risk. Risk assessments generally include recommendations of necessary support equipment, equipment procurement assistance, and hands on instruction of equipment use.

Home health care provides improved home safety that can help seniors retain their independence longer. Include fall assessment and prevention in your June marketing .

Here are some ideas to promote Home Safety:

  • Distribute fall prevention information to local worship communities and offer to teach a class on safeguarding against avoidable in-home accidents. Here are some simple home safety tips to share:

    • Exercise moderately every day to improve strength and balance.

    • Have regular eye exams.

    • Know your medications, some can cause drowsiness or dizziness.

    • Remove trip hazards: clutter, throw rugs, electrical cords.

    • Safeguard staircases with handrails and sufficient lighting.

    • Use nightlights in bedrooms, bathrooms, and hallways.

    • Install grab bars in and around showers, bathtubs, and toilets.

    • Store items you use often within easy reach.

    • Wear shoes with nonskid soles.

    • When rising, establish your balance before walking.

    • Keep a phone within reach with emergency phone numbers handy.

    • Set the water heater thermostat at 120°F to avoid accidental scalding.

  • Arrange for your team members to lead a discussion group at senior centers in your service area. Have your OTs emphasize the importance of exercise to maintain muscle strength. Be sure to have plenty of swag on hand to distribute to the attendees.

  • Be sure to include your local pharmacists in your home safety marketing strategy. Pharmacists make great referral partners as seniors often turn to them for advice regarding mobility challenges and transport equipment.

Visit TAGwebstore.com for fall prevention and other home health patient education material.

May 2015: Look out for your community’s men

June is the perfect time to show a little love to the men in our lives. After all, June is Men’s Health Month and National Men’s Health Week is June 15-21, 2015. And we can’t forget about Father’s Day on June 21. Stand up for the men in your community and remind them that when they improve their health, they improve not only their own lives, but the lives of everyone they care about. Focus efforts this month on educating about health issues that particularly affect men. Consider this: According to the Centers for Disease Control, women are twice as likely as men to visit the doctor for annual exams and preventive services.

  • Take part in community health fairs this month and hand out flyers about topics such as prostate cancer, high blood pressure, medication management and pain management. Find them www.tagwebstore.com/health-care-flyers.php.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing 307,225 men in 2009 – one in every four deaths! Volunteer to teach a free class on heart health at a local Lions Club, Kiwanis Club or VFW.  Find a ready-made class at www.tagwebstore.com/healthmatters-education-series.php.
  • About 67 million American adults (one-third of the population!) have high blood pressure, a condition that contributes to heart attack, stroke and heart failure. Distribute blood pressure logs to the offices of general practitioners and internists to give to their patients with elevated blood pressure. The logs provide a consistent way to get attention for your agency while helping potential patients manage their condition. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/bloodpressurelog.php.
  • It’s time to think about doing something big. Plan an event to educate your community’s men (and women) about an important Medicare benefit they may not realize they have: The Annual Wellness Visit, which includes a review of medical history and risk factors and a personalized prevention plan. Provide snacks, informative booths and access to a clinician to perform the annual exams. Find a kit to help you plan and execute the event here: www.tagwebstore.com/annual-wellness-visit-kit.php.

Taking steps to ensure safety at home can mean a world of difference to seniors hoping to maintain their independence. June’s National Home Safety Month is a great time to help. Get ready to reach out to your community and educate on home safety and how your agency can help. The National Safety Council-supported observance is an effort to educate people and influence their behaviors in relation to the top causes of preventable death and injury. Here are some things you can do to participate.

  • Host a free educational class at your area senior centers on the importance and basics of fall prevention. Find a ready-made class at www.tagwebstore.com/healthmatters-education-series.php.
  • Show your referral sources this month that you are committed to ensuring patient safety. Integrate patient education guides for fall prevention into your services for those at an elevated risk for a fall. The guides also are an eye-catching tool you can use to show referral sources how seriously you take this issue. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/patient-education-guides.php.
  • Health and safety go hand in hand. Give patients a powerful tool to track their health records, including medications, immunizations, blood sugar and more. Health Logs will go everywhere they go and will keep your agency top of mind. Distribute them to your both your clients and prospective clients. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/healthlog.php.
  • Stock physician waiting rooms – especially those of orthopedic specialists – with flyers about home safety. Be sure to include information about your agency’s fall risk assessments. Find the flyers at www.tagwebstore.com/health-care-flyers.php.

Advances in technology and treatment options mean people diagnosed with cancer have better odds of survival than ever. Join the cancer community in celebrating life after a cancer diagnosis this National Cancer Survivors Day on June 7, 2015. Show your support for increased cancer education while also educating people about ways home care can help.

  • Remind physicians that palliative care isn’t just for patients who are terminal. Sit down with physicians and remind them that all patients battling cancer can benefit from palliative care. Leave behind an informative brochure about this specialized care and how your agency can help. Find it HERE. (Bonus: All brochures at www.tagwebstore.com are Buy 1 Get 1 FREE through the May 31!)
  • Home care agencies should provide oncologists with brochures that discuss the benefits of home care for cancer patients. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/disease-information-brochures.php.
  • Contact the local office of the American Cancer Society and offer to organize a bake sale, sidewalk sale or other charity event to benefit the organization. Be sure to have plenty of informative materials available that educate about cancer. Find personalized agency flyers about cancer at www.tagwebstore.com/health-care-flyers.php.
  • Give cancer patients a comprehensive guide to assist them as they cope with treatment. Find a patient education guide for cancer with chemotherapy/radiation at www.tagwebstore.com/patient-education-guides.php.