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TVF&R captain offers reminders about home safety for seniors


Capt. Troy Spisla provides tips for staying safe indoors and outdoors

I hope everyone has enjoyed the last couple of months with the holiday season with family and friends.

And with this New Year upon us, we will all be starting new seasons and various activities.

I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you all what I call the "Seasons of Life" and how this affects our aging population.

Throughout the "seasons" of your life, you have undoubtedly made lifestyle changes to adapt to babies, mid-life and empty nests.

Similarly, you make adjustments for changing weather like grabbing your umbrella for rainy days or wearing sunscreen on sunny days.

Change is an inevitable part of life, and adapting to change is the key to comfort!

As you age, the consequences of a fall become more serious, and a broken bone can often lead to disabilities that can make you dependent upon a caregiver, or at the very least, disrupt a comfortable lifestyle.

Even if a fall does not cause physical injury, just the fear of falling again may limit you from participating in your favorite activities.

By making a few simple changes around your home, you can help prevent falls, and safely enjoy the next season of your life.

I hope everyone who is in this "season" of your life reviews the following safety tips and commits to making any necessary changes for your optimum safety and comfort:

-- Make sure the areas outside your doors, patios, porches, steps, and walkways are well lit;

-- Make sure the patios, porches, steps and walkways around your home are clear of obstacles and in good condition (broken steps, cracks, raised areas, etc., have been repaired);

-- Make sure that the handrails on both sides of all your exterior steps are secure and in place, and most importantly, use them;

-- Make sure the handrails on each side of your stairway are secure and in place for support, and they extend past the last step;

-- Make sure stairways and landings are free of obstacles;

-- Make sure that stairways are properly lit with light switches at both the top and bottom of the stairs - or - that you have a tap light or night light installed on the stairway;

-- Make sure that you have a phone in your bedroom with emergency numbers either nearby or taped directly to it;

-- Make sure to keep eyeglasses on your bedside table;

-- Make sure that couches and chairs are sturdy, have arms, and are not too deep or too low for you to get out of easily;

-- Make sure that pathways in your living/family rooms are clear of clutter and excess or oversized furniture;

-- Make sure area or throw rugs are secured with double-sided tape or non-slip backing or removed from your home.

I wish everyone a happy, safe and healthy New Year!