Focus on senior safety at home this August

August gives us all a great opportunity to focus on an important topic we should all think more about: home safety.

While as home care professionals, a great deal of our time and effort is spent ensuring our clients are living as safely and healthfully as possible at home, there is much more we can do to not only enhance our services but promote the idea of home safety throughout our communities.

National Safe at Home Week is Aug. 20-26. Use this observance as a catalyst to jump-start your safety efforts. Here are some tips to help you get started.

  • Educate seniors in your community about some of the most common and avoidable dangers lurking in their homes. Host a series of seminars at a local senior center with topics such as emergency preparedness, help for those with hearing difficulties, poison prevention, home fire safety, and more. Find some great information to help you lead the discussion at the CDC’s website for Home and Recreational Safety.
  • Few things can land a senior in the hospital faster than a fall. Volunteer to teach a senior class on fall prevention at a local adult day care center. TAG Partners offers a ready-made class on fall prevention, complete with script, promotional posters, and presentation flyers for attendees all personalized to your agency. Call 866-232-6477 for information on individual component pricing.
  • Hand out personalized first aid kits or potholders to your senior community along with your agency’s marketing brochure and an offer for a free home safety evaluation. Call TAG Partners at 866-232-6477 to explore the promotional product options available to you.
  • Partner with your local fire department in providing fire safety education to your community. Get started by checking out the US Fire Administration’s helpful Fire Safe Seniors Tool Kit. It includes tons of handouts, posters and other items to help you deliver an effective presentation.
  • Talk to your local radio station about hosting a monthly show about seniors and home safety. There is a wealth of topics to cover, such as preventing falls/balance issues, planning for a disaster, home health care safety, Internet/personal safety, fraud prevention, etc.

Prepare for August: Plan Ahead and Educate

The year is halfway over and it’s time to start thinking about 2014. Home care and hospice-specific calendars educate about common conditions and keep your agency in front of referral sources, clients and potential clients all year long. Getting your calendars early means you’ll have them ready for distribution as fall creeps closer.

  • Plan your outreach efforts for the second half of the year, including events and opportunities to distribute traditional wall calendars. Time-tested and durable, calendars will remind referral sources, patients and others about your services, and will make them aware of healthcare observances and any other dates that are important to your agency. Find them at:
  • Hand out magnetic calendars personalized to your agency at health fairs, senior centers and all your educational events. Find them at:

Did you know that many seniors aren’t as protected against disease as they could be? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that only about 62 percent of people age 65 or older were vaccinated against pneumonia in 2011, and that figure dropped to rates of 40-47 percent among minorities. Vaccination rates were equally low for diseases such as tetanus, hepatitis B and shingles.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Commit to raising awareness about the importance of adult vaccination. It will improve your community’s health and show that your agency is a champion for senior health.

  • Distribute mousepads that educate on seniors and immunizations to your referral sources. These mousepads come with 25 tear-away sheets and include a calendar, to-do list and your agency’s logo and contact information. Find them at

National Safe at Home Week is Aug. 26-30. It’s an ideal time to get out into the community and educate about the potential dangers lurking in the place where people feel the safest: home.

  • Distribute Home Safety flyers at health fairs and other community events. The flyers are personalized with your agency’s logo and contact information and include information on fall prevention, fire safety and general household safety. Find them at
  • 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
  • Host a free educational class at your area senior centers on the importance and basics of fall prevention. Find a ready-made class at