DUNCANSVILLE, BLAIR COUNTY - One out of 3 people, 65 and older falls each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. June is National Safety Month, so some local caregivers are trying to help older folks reduce their risks. They'll actually come to your home and not only point out possible fall risks, they'll check out your living quarters for other potential dangers.
"I will be 80 next month." says Iva Jean Snyder who lives in the Duncansville area with her dog Tucker. They've invited a visitor to join them for a little while.
Endi Reindl from Home Instead Senior Care comes with his checklist and goes to work. In the sleeping area, he looks at whether her oxygen and C-pap machine for sleep apnea, are safely set up.
"Obviously, we want to be concerned with the oxygen at night how you put it on so you don't strangle yourself because that can be a big concern," he explains. She's okay, there, he says and then checks to see whether she can safely get out of bed.
"You have your grab bar here to help you get in and out, so I would have to give you 2 thumbs up for the bedroom. So I'll have to look at the bathroom and kitchen," he says.
Throughout Iva Jean's living area, Endi looks for loose cords that could be a fall risk or loose plugs that could be electrical hazards, and one of the biggest dangers. "Throw rugs are a huge issue," Endi says. Throw rugs cause easily half the issues of seniors going to the hospital for household issues."
He finds no throw rugs, but a tear in the carpet that could trip Iva Jean. "Almost similar to how we have to babyproof our homes for young children, it really is a good idea tomake our houses more senior appropriate," he says.
A check of the kitchen, finds a basically clutter free area, including the top of the stove, where storing things could be a fire hazard.
Endi doesn't have many recommendations for Iva Jean, just keep up the good work, and get back to your embroidery.
"This is my hobby this is what I like to do," she says, holding a pillowcase, she's currently working on. "I do crosswords, different kinds of puzzles. I have a jigsaw puzzle over there."
Home Instead Senior Care will be providing free home safety checks for older residents of Blair and Cambria Counties, in June and July. You can contact their office at 814-693-2911 or Endi directly at 814-693-3610.