- Written by Laurie Deskavich, Information and Caregiver Resource Center Program Director
- Published: 03 June 2018
June is National Safety Month
Observed annually in June, National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work and in our homes and communities. According to the National Safety Council, injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 40. The good news? Everyone can get involved to help prevent injuries.
Q: What can I do to prevent injuries?
A: You can join the National Safety Council and thousands of organizations nationwide as they work to ensure No One Gets Hurt.
During National Safety Month, LifePath is working on spreading the word to help reduce the risk of injuries. This June, we encourage you to learn more about important safety issues like preparing for the unexpected, preventing slips, trips, and falls, and prioritizing your wellness.
First for general safety preparedness:
Emergency situations can happen at any time; it is important that you are prepared for the unexpected long before it happens. Here are some ways to help reduce the risk of many safety issues.
- Research and prepare for natural disasters common to your area, such as severe thunderstorms or tornadoes.
- Have an emergency kit for both your home and car.
- Have a home emergency plan with your family.
- Know your employer’s emergency plans and what is expected of you.
- Participate in emergency drills at work and pay attention to lessons learned.
- Store important papers and personal information in a fireproof safe or safety deposit box.
- Check your smoke alarms monthly, change the batteries yearly and replace the alarm every ten years.
Emergency kits can help you prepare for the worst, but only if they are properly stocked and regularly refreshed. Learn about emergency preparedness and emergency kits and what they should contain.
At home, remember to change the batteries in your smoke alarms at least once a year. According to the National Fire Protection Association, three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%). Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out.
Second for slips, trips and falls:
One in four older adults falls each year. Many falls lead to broken bones or a head injury. Falls are the number one cause of death for those 65 and older, according to the National Safety Council.
Be proactive! Remove clutter or other tripping hazards from walkways, stairs and doorways. Use nightlights in the bathroom and other areas to prevent tripping and falls at night. For older adults, install grab bars in the bathroom to help prevent falls when showering. Also older adults can take balance classes, get their vision and hearing checked each year and talk with their doctors and pharmacists about fall risks from medications.
LifePath’s Healthy Living Program offers a workshop to help older adults reduce their risk of falls. “Matter of Balance” has been shown to significantly reduce the fear of falling in those who take the workshop, as well as to increase their sense of control over potential falls.
Third for prioritizing your wellness:
We ask a lot of ourselves, and over time this can put a strain on our wellness. Prioritize your wellness. Get regular medical checkups, such as an annual physical with age-appropriate tests, exercise, and eat healthy. Get plenty of sleep to avoid fatigue. Fatigue is more than just being tired. If you are missing out on the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each day, you could become sleep deprived and be at higher risk for the negative effects of fatigue such as depression and other serious health issues. According to the National Institutes of Health, 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders.
The Healthy Living Program at LifePath can also help you manage chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes as well as learn ways to eat healthier, exercise more, manage pain, and develop healthy habits. For more information, click here or call Healthy Living Program Manager Andi Waisman at 413-773-5555 x2297 or 978-544-2259 x2297.
By being prepared you can make a difference and ensure No One Gets Hurt.