Category Archives: Safety

Safe Senior Driving

Senior driving

Hit the Road or Hand in the Keys?

Ageing is an all-encompassing inevitability. Along with the physical and emotional components of growing older, a number of varied decisions must be made regarding an individual’s safety and quality of life as they age.  With an ever-increasing population of baby boomers aging into the senior category of 65+, the surge of older Americans hitting the road has prompted distressing statistics as in elder drivers being twice as likely to die in car crashes than middle-aged individuals.

Careful Evaluation 

With normal health and physical restrictions due to the aging process, many seniors cling to their ability to drive and refuse to recognize the safety hazards they may pose to themselves and others on the road, outliving their ability to drive safely by 7 to even 10 years. With over 40 million boomers on the road (a 50% increase from 1999) and many of them ill-equipped with the necessary reaction times, eyesight, and physical maneuvers to drive safely, an average of 16 older Americans are killed and 648 are injured each day from car accidents. With these staggering numbers, it is up to physicians, caregivers, rehab care clinic workers, geriatric services, family members, and even seniors themselves to assess their command of the skills required to drive safely. Continue reading

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Moving Right Along

One of many mobility options

Exploring Mobility Options for Seniors.

There are many things to which we look forward as we age: the ability to spend less time working and more time with our families having fun; the ability to travel and see new sights; and the freedom to try out new hobbies we’ve never had time to explore.

But there also are some things about aging that can be a hardship, including the loss of our mobility. Whether due to age, illness or injury, loss of mobility can put a crimp in our plans for retirement and beyond. We take for granted the ability to get up and walk across the room – or to stand for longer periods of time – until we find we can no longer do either comfortably or safely.

When this happens, it may be time to explore mobility assistive options such as scooters, walkers and canes. Continue reading

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How to Stay Safe While Traveling Solo

Senior woman safely traveling alone

Top Tips for Going it Alone.

For many seniors and boomers, traveling is something to which they are looking forward when they finally retire and have more free time on their hands. Many have a bucket list that includes places they want to see and explore, and some have been saving for years to be able to afford the luxury.

According to the AARP, boomers were the most active travelers in 2016, taking an average of four to five trips per year for leisure. Forty-five percent of seniors and boomers traveled both domestically and internationally last year, and the trend is expected to continue into 2017. The AARP also reports that 62 percent of boomers traveling in 2016 were couples (married or living together) traveling internationally and 74 percent of those were traveling domestically.

But what about single men and women who wish to travel, but don’t have a companion to accompany them? This may pose more of a challenge to senior women than men, as women can face greater obstacles and safety concerns when traveling alone. If you are a single senior woman who wants to travel, there are ways to make your dream a reality. Continue reading

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No Longer Safe to be Behind the Wheel?

Senior transportation options

Top Transportation Options for Seniors and Boomers.

Americans are healthier than ever before, resulting in an average life expectancy of 78 years. With many seniors and boomers retiring by age 63 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2016) – and having retirement last an average of 18 years – that’s a lot of time to have free to enjoy the things you want out of life.

While Americans may be healthier and living longer, that doesn’t mean they are capable of continuing to safely drive. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), seniors and boomers are outliving their ability to drive by as much as a decade. While many older drivers recognize when they have conditions that prevent them from safely driving, others may continue to drive out of necessity, especially in areas where public transportation may not be readily available or where including the cost of public transportation doesn’t fit into a tight budget.

Seniors who live close to friends or family members can consider asking them for assistance when they need to make occasional trips to places like the grocery store or a doctor’s appointment. Seniors and boomers who do not live close to friends or family members have other options. Let’s discuss a few of them. Continue reading

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Don’t Get Caught Off Guard

woman needing self defense

Self Defense Techniques and Tools for Seniors.

No one likes to think about becoming a victim of crime. But as with anything else, being prepared to handle any situation can go a long way toward prevention.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, individuals aged 18 to 21 are the most likely age group to become victims of violent crime; however, 7 percent of violent crime victims and 12 percent of all homicide victims each year are age 50 and older.

The chance of becoming a victim of violent crime also increases based on where you live. WalletHub, an online financial resource tool, created a 2016 Safest States in America list. WalletHub’s analysts compared key safety metric data among the 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine its list. Safety metrics included number of assaults per capita, unemployment rates and estimated losses from natural disasters. Continue reading

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Senior Drivers More Accident Prone

Senior drivers

In September 2015, an 85-year-old driver was killed when he lost control of his vehicle in Salem, Ore. Police said he was trying to over-correct his steering wheel when the accident occurred, causing his vehicle to flip onto its roof.

Earlier this month, a 91-year-old driver and his 87-year-old passenger were killed when the driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a concrete wall near Hartford, Conn.  Police say the driver failed to maneuver his vehicle while approaching a railroad overpass, striking the bridge abutment head-on.

As of 2012, there were nearly 36 million licensed drivers ages 65 and older in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The numbers reflect a 34 percent increase in the number of drivers in this age group since 1999. The same report indicates that the risk of being injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident increases with age, with an average of 586 older adults being injured daily in crashes. Continue reading

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Don’t Get Burned Online

identity theft protection

Last week, we talked about the benefits of seniors and boomers using social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This week, we’re going to discuss strategies and tips for enjoying all the Internet has to offer without risking your safety, identity, or financial security.

Identity theft is the fastest-growing crime in America, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Nearly 10 million incidents of identity theft occur each year. The growing amount of data available online has made identity theft, among other forms of cyber crime, easier to accomplish. While the Internet has made it easier, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to protect oneself while online.

One of the best ways to keep your information safe is by using a secure password. The strongest passwords include letters, numbers and symbols and a combination of upper and lowercase letters. An example would be 79SdJk47!2. By using combinations of this nature, it makes it harder for online scammers to guess passwords and hack into your accounts. This includes everything from Facebook to your online banking. It also is important to use different passwords for different online accounts. If you use the same password for every account you access online and someone gains access to it, they can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. It is also important to change your passwords every so often. Continue reading

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Holiday Family Time Opportunity

woman talking with aging parent

The end of November starts the annual holiday season, with families gathering first for Thanksgiving celebration, and again in December for Christmas and Hanukkah and other year-end holidays.

For some families, it is one of the few times during the year they are able to spend with aging parents. If those parents are still living at home alone, the holidays can be a time to not only get together and share a meal and some memories, but also a time to assess whether it’s time for mom and dad to get a little assistance. Continue reading

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Don’t Fall Victim to Common Scams Targeting Seniors

common senior scams

Today’s seniors and boomers were raised during a time when they were taught to be polite and trusting. Sadly, con artists tend to prey on those who are too trusting, thereby making the senior population a prime target for scams and fraud.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, not only is this age group more likely to be a victim of fraud – they also are less likely to report it . Some do not know how to report it and to whom, while others are embarrassed that friends and family will find out they were scammed. Continue reading

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