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When the time comes to retire, many of us wonder what we are going to do with our newfound free time. Often, the answer to this question relates to where we live - or, in some cases, where we want to live. The top places to retire tend to have a few things in common: they're quiet, have some beautiful views, and are close to local amenities.

Retiring provides us with new opportunities for pursuing our favourite pastimes. Sometimes we're already in the perfect place; other times we may need to move to a new home. To help you settle into retirement properly, we will look at the top places to retire in the UK.

Finding the Right Place

When looking for the ideal place to retire, there are a few things to consider. Different factors come together to decide whether an area is right for you or not. Moreover, what is right for one person may not be right for you.

Affordability

If you are planning to move somewhere new after retirement, it's important to know whether you can afford to move (and live) there. What are the average house prices? Can you afford to downsize? Will you be selling your current home to move elsewhere?

Hospitals and Surgeries

In later life, we often find we need additional healthcare. This is especially true if we have any long-term health conditions. As a result, it is important to be within easy reach of a GP or hospital. Will you be within easy walking distance of your local surgery? Are there bus routes to the nearest hospital?

Public Transport

On the subject of bus routes, it's important that you can get around. Even if you are currently a driver, older age can pose an obstacle. If the time does come that you stop driving, you will still want to be able to get around. Check that the area you are moving to has reliable bus routes. Trains, too, could be ideal if you are planning to travel.

Local Amenities

It's always nice to know that your local shop is only a short walk away. A forgotten bottle of milk or expired loaf of bread become trivial things with the convenience of local amenities. The closeness of these shops and cafés also mean you will be more likely to bump into familiar faces, allowing you to forge friendships amongst your neighbours.

Safety

We all want to feel safe in our own homes. Criminals tend to consider older people vulnerable, after all. Therefore, it is important to keep yourself safe from crime. When choosing a place to retire, consider the safety of the neighbourhood you will be living in. The UK Police website provides an overview of how safe an area is. For added peace of mind in your own home, you might also want to consider a personal alarm.

Top Places to Retire in the UK

Now we know what to look for, let's consider the top places to retire in the UK. To make this list, we have looked at average house prices, crime rates, access to amenities, and thrown in some thoughts about the aesthetics of these areas.

1. Suffolk

If you're looking for somewhere quiet and idyllic, you can't go wrong with Suffolk. This county sits in the East of England and is home to beautiful coastlines. It is also a largely rural region, known for its flat landscapes and peaceful villages. For the retiree looking for peace and quiet, this could be the ideal location. And for the days when you crave something to do, towns like Bury St. Edmunds and Ipswich are reasonably easy to reach.

2. Cornwall

One of the most desirable areas of the UK is Cornwall. As a result, house prices are a little steeper than elsewhere; it is worth it, though, for all-year access to the county's fantastic views. Thanks in no small part to its bustling tourism industry, Cornwall is home to a multitude of independent shops and popular pubs. This means you will always have plenty to do. Plus, Cornwall offers elderly transport schemes to support retirees who want to see all their home has to offer.

3. Edinburgh

For a change of pace, Edinburgh offers access to a lively retirement. You will be perfectly places to endure all the cultural heritage the city has to offer, as well as being in easy reach of trips to the countryside. If the prices of homes within Edinburgh are too high, its suburbs and nearby villages benefit from strong public transport connections. Moving to Edinburgh in retirement is the ideal way to live your later life in Scotland.

4. Cumbria

Moving to Cumbria offers low crime rates and reasonable house prices. This makes it a highly desirable area to move to. Furthermore, it is another of the top places to retire in the UK that provides picturesque landscapes for you to enjoy. There are plenty of quiet villages for you to reside in, where you are sure to make some fast friends. And if you prefer city living, Carlisle has a lot to offer, including countless restaurants and rich history to explore.

5. Staffordshire

Retirees choosing to live in Staffordshire can expect low crime rates, reasonably priced property, and connections all across the country. Staffordshire is ideally placed for the elderly explorer who wants to travel. Visits to the Peak District will be easily feasible, as will journeys to historic villages and towns. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you might also want to check out the annual folk festival.

Staying Safe in Retirement

Whether you're aiming for a sedate retirement or plan to do some travelling, it's important to stay safe in later life. Personal alarms from Lifeline24 support your independence at home, providing peace of mind throughout the year.

When you purchase a personal alarm, you will receive a base alarm and a pendant. This pendant can be worn on the wrist or as a necklace. When you press the pendant button, an alert is sent to our 24/7 Response Team. They will then arrange help for you by contacting your emergency contacts.

For added protection, consider a fall detector alarm.

To find out more about the Lifeline24 personal alarm service read our useful guideOrder your Lifeline alarm today or call us on 0800 999 0400 if you have any questions.

This article was contributed by Shannon Lochwood

Online shopping has grown in popularity because it is convenient and easy to order the products we need. But older generation who may not be as familiar with the technology used to shop online oftentimes run into issues like scams or unreliable websites. This makes online shopping a little more dangerous for older people. Fortunately, elderly people can also enjoy online shopping if they are careful and have the assistance they need. Here are some of the benefits online shopping has for the elderly as well as some ways to make it safer for them.

Benefits of Online Shopping for the Elderly

1. Independence

One of the most important benefits of online shopping is the independence it provides for elderly people. This is especially true for adults who have mobility issues, such as those who use walkers or wheelchairs. Elderly people with mobility issues have a difficult time navigating shops and finding transportation, but online shopping provides a solution to both of these barriers. With online shopping, elderly people can order the products they need and receive them without relying on anyone else. This helps elderly people feel like they're still able to participate in the world without asking for help, which can improve their mood.

2. Saved Time

Shopping online saves us time that would otherwise be spent travelling to a store and finding the product. But it isn't uncommon for elderly people to take more time shopping than younger people. This means that online shopping may save your elderly relatives even more time than it would save you. With online shopping, elderly people have more time to spend with loved ones or running errands.

3. Saving Money Online

Online shopping is also generally cheaper than shopping at physical shops tends to be. This is because many of the typical costs it takes to maintain a brick-and-mortar shop are unnecessary for eCommerce businesses. For example, an online retailer doesn't need to pay for a shopfront to be lit during business hours. And those savings are usually passed on to the consumer as an incentive for shopping online.

Additionally, many of the discounts older people have become accustomed to when shopping are available online. Chances are, many of the shops that your elderly relatives regularly shop at also have an online store that offers them the same discount. They'll also be saving money by buying less fuel for their car.

Ways to Make Online Shopping Safe for the Elderly

1. Familiarise Yourself with Technology

The easiest way to make online shopping safer for your elderly relatives is to be familiar with online shopping yourself. More specifically, you should be familiar with your relative's online shopping habits so that you can ensure they are acting safely. Ask your relative what they usually shop for online and where they buy their products from. If they're entirely new to online shopping, then show them a few online stories that you know are safe. Remind elderly members of your family to never follow any suspicious links or give up any personal information online. Spam emails can be dangerous for elderly people who struggle to differentiate a genuine service from a scam. Encourage them to ignore just about everything that gets marked as spam.

2. Research Retailers Before Making a Purchase

Elderly people sometimes struggle to differentiate sketchy websites from reputable ones, making online shopping potentially dangerous. If an elderly relative wants to order a product from an online retailer that you don't recognise, do some quick research on them. Make sure that they are a website that you would feel safe purchasing a product from. Look for a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate somewhere on the checkout page of the website. An SSL encrypts personal information from both sides of an online transaction, making it incredibly difficult to hack into.

3. Look for Safe Shipping & Delivery Options

One of the many pitfalls of online shopping is overpriced shipping options that inflate the cost of online shopping without providing much value. While people who shop online frequently may be aware of this, it can still catch less experienced online shoppers off guard. Elderly users need to be especially careful that they understand the shipping options available to them and select the most efficient choice. Some shipping options charge a constant shipping rate for any package under a certain weight. This avoids elderly shoppers from overpaying for shipping and delivery.

4. Keep Your Passwords Protected

Many of the accounts we use online have access to sensitive information like credit card numbers and bank account numbers. If someone with bad intentions were to get their hands on this information, they could do some serious financial damage. This is why it is paramount to protect the passwords associated with any account that has access to sensitive information. Do not let your elderly relatives use a single password for every account. Instead, encourage them to keep a written log of their passwords in case they forget them. This way their accounts are all safe and they have easy access to their passwords - just be sure they keep this log somewhere safe.

Safety in the Home

It's not only whilst online shopping that your elderly loved ones need to stay safe. Their physical wellbeing is just as important. A personal alarm from Lifeline24 provides extra peace of mind around the home. In the event of a fall, they simply press the button on their pendant alarm; if they opt for our fall detector plan, an alarm will be raised automatically.

Choosing Lifeline24 means benefitting from 24/7 coverage, 365 days a year, provided by our TSA-Accredited Response Team.

To find out more about the Lifeline24 alarm service, read our detailed guide, or get in touch with our helpful customer service team on 0800 999 0400Buy your personal alarm online today.

If there’s one place we should feel relaxed and comfortable, it's in our own homes. Unfortunately, as we get older, safety at home isn't always guaranteed. Changes to our mobility, vision, balance, or memory can make staying safe at home a little trickier than it used to be.

Despite these challenges, there are a few simple things older people can do to stay safe, comfortable, and happy at home. Here are our top home safety tips for older people. By following this guidance, you can create a safer home environment, allowing you to carry on living independently in the home you love.

1. Preventing Falls at Home

Falls are perhaps the biggest risk that older people face in the home. In fact, according to the NHS, one in three people over the age of 65 will have a fall at home each year. Statistics show that falls are sadly the most common cause of injury-related deaths in people over the age of 75.

Therefore, preventing falls is essential when it comes to home safety for elderly people. Here are some useful fall-prevention tips for older people:

  • Don’t rush - Falls often happen when people are rushing to answer the phone. If you're worried about missing a phone call, you'll move faster than you normally would. Instead of rushing, get a cordless phone that you can keep nearby. Alternatively, let the call go to voicemail and give the person a call back.
  • Wear non-slip footwear - This is especially important on hard surfaces like lino, tiles, or wooden flooring. If you don't want to wear shoes inside, invest in a good pair of slippers or house shoes. Choose sturdy soles with a good grip to avoid slipping over.
  • Make sure your floors are well lit (including night lights if needed) and clear of obstacles - Common trip hazards include rugs and shoes left on the floor. You can tape rugs down to stop them from moving when you walk on them. Put shoes away in a cupboard or shoe rack as soon as you take them off.
  • If you have stairs, use the banister when climbing or descending - If you only have a banister on one side, we'd recommend installing another one so you can hold on with both hands. Alternatively, if you're struggling with the stairs in general, consider a stairlift.
  • If you use a walking stick or frame, use it at all times - Don’t rely on holding on to furniture for balance - it can give way, or you can lose grip which might cause a fall.
  • Try and stay active - Regular exercise will help you to maintain your fitness, balance, and coordination. Exercise needn't be strenuous; a gentle walk can have a huge effect on your overall health and well-being. You can even exercise while sitting down! Read our chair exercise guide here.
  • If you think you might be at risk of a fall or have recently fallen, speak to your GP - They may be able to recommend exercises to improve your strength and balance or refer you for tests if necessary.

It’s also important to realise that not all falls can be prevented. Accidents can happen no matter how prepared you are, so you should always have a system in place. The best solution for this is to use a personal alarm.

Read more about how to prevent falls at home

2. Personal Alarms

When it comes to staying safe at home, personal alarms are perhaps the most helpful tool you can use. A personal alarm allows you to call for help in an emergency. There are a few different kinds of alarm, but the most common is a monitored pendant alarm. These alarms usually consist of a base unit and a small pendant, which the user can wear around their wrist or neck. Whenever they need assistance, they can press the button on the pendant to raise the alarm.

Once activated, the button sends a signal to an alarm base unit. Most alarm units, including the Lifeline24 Personal Alarm, use a landline connection to call on a 24-hour Response Team, who will respond by contacting nominated friends, family, neighbours, or carers to come and assist the user. If it is a medical emergency, the Response Team will also contact the emergency services.

A personal alarm system is helpful in so many different situations. Here are just a few common reasons why people activate their alarms:

  • A sudden health problem such as chest pain or a seizure.
  • Concerns about a potential intruder or unwanted visitor.
  • Detecting a fire or flood.
  • Suffering from a fall and needing assistance to get back up.

In these situations, a personal alarm ensures that an older person can get the help they need when they need it. Personal alarms save lives and support independent living, providing peace of mind to older people and their loved ones alike. They're also a big help to the NHS.

"Statistics show that, in the UK, falls are the most common cause of injury related deaths in people over the age of 75."

Read more about personal alarm systems

3. Fire Safety

Older people are more vulnerable to house fires than younger people. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, older people are generally less likely to keep up with household jobs like testing a smoke detector regularly or replacing the batteries in it. These jobs might seem small, but they are an essential part of safety at home.

Secondly, older people can find it more difficult to detect a fire when it happens. This might be because they tend to have more sensory impairments than younger people. Certain medications can also affect your ability to detect fire, and mobility issues can add to the danger if a fire ever does occur.

Here are five fire prevention tips to help older people stay safe at home:

  1. Look out for damaged cords on electrical appliances.
  2. Don’t plug an extension lead into another extension lead. You might overload the socket which can cause an electrical fire.
  3. Don’t leave lit candles unattended.
  4. Avoid smoking indoors and ensure that you stub out your cigarettes completely (or try quitting smoking altogether).
  5. Avoid wearing loose clothing while cooking.
  6. Install a smoke detector and test it at least once a month. Smoke detectors are the most effective way to protect yourself from fire. Read more on the fire service website.

If you ever detect a fire in your home, don’t attempt to put it out yourself. Call 999 immediately and leave your house as quickly as possible. If you can't get to your phone, activate your personal alarm if you have one. Don’t go back for belongings or valuables; you are the most valuable thing in your home.

We offer smoke detectors that link to your personal alarm

4. Bathroom Safety

The smallest room can present some of the biggest hazards for older people. The combination of hard, slippery surfaces and water can increase the risk of falls and injuries. On average, we use the bathroom seven times a day. With so many trips to and from the bathroom, it's important to make things as safe as possible.

There are a few simple steps you can take to make your bathroom safer:

  • If you have a shower over your bath, place a rubber mat in the bathtub to prevent slips.
  • Install grab rails in your bathroom. Grab rails by the toilet, shower, and bath can help you keep your balance on slippery surfaces.
  • If you struggle with balance, consider investing in a shower seat. These are a great alternative to standing in the shower and minimise the risk of slips.
  • If you have a personal alarm, make sure the pendant button is water-resistant. By keeping your pendant on in the bath or shower, you'll be able to call for help quickly if you need it.

All Lifeline24 Alarm systems include a water-resistant pendant for safe use in the bathroom. Whether you choose our standard Lifeline24 Personal Alarm and Pendant or the Fall Detector Alarm for extra peace of mind, you'll be protected in every room of the house.

Read more about bathroom safety

5. Electronics

Nowadays, it is impossible to talk about safety at home without addressing electronics. Unfortunately, many accidents involving electricity can prove fatal, so it is absolutely vital to make your home as safe as can be.

Here are some electrical tips to help you stay safe at home:

  • Ensure that electric cords are in good condition e.g. no fraying cables or cracks in the casing.
  • Inspect your sockets regularly - there should be no visible damage and they shouldn't make any noise.
  • Keep all electrical appliances far away from water to prevent electric shocks.
  • Turn off or unplug any small appliances when you leave the house.
  • Be careful not to overload extension leads - make sure you know the maximum current rating for the lead.
  • Don't daisy-chain extension leads together.

If you have any worries about the electrics in your house, we recommend contacting an electrician to come and do a safety check. This way, you can address any potential hazards before they become too dangerous. Being proactive is key to ensuring safety at home.

Bear in mind that electrical appliances can get hot, so keep them away from anything flammable such as aerosols and curtains.

Read more about electrical safety

6. Kitchen Hazards

Lots of us enjoy cooking as a relaxing pastime, but the kitchen has its own set of risks to consider. Burns, slips and injuries are all too common in the kitchen, particularly for older people.

You can minimise your risk of injury in the kitchen by following these safety tips:

  • Wear appropriate clothing. Overly baggy clothes can be a fire risk - especially loose-flowing sleeves.
  • Always wear sensible shoes. Look for sturdy soles with good grip and avoid open-toed shoes - it can be very easy to drop a knife in the middle of food preparation.
  • Stir away from your body to avoid burns and splashes when cooking on the stove.
  • Staying safe at home means keeping things clean. This means dealing with any spillages promptly to prevent slips and wiping down surfaces to kill bacteria.
  • Always use oven gloves when removing hot things from the oven or microwave.
  • Keep your knives sharp. Despite what you might think, a blunt knife is more dangerous than a sharp one. Always slice away from your body and go slowly until you are confident.
  • It is a good idea to keep a small first aid kit in the kitchen. Make sure it is fully stocked with scissors, plasters, gauze and antiseptic.

Read more about kitchen safety

 

7. Staircases

Getting up and down those stairs can be difficult as we get older. You might lose your breath more quickly than you used to, or be a little unsteady on your feet. If you have asthma or joint problems due to arthritis or osteoporosis, then you may want to consider a stairlift.

Stairlifts allow you to get up and down the stairs safely and comfortably. There's no need to worry about tripping up or running out of breath. You can sit down and relax as you are carried up your staircase. By eliminating the risk of staircase accidents, staying safe at home becomes much easier.

A stairlift is certainly a big investment. However, there are grants available to help you cover the costs. You might even be eligible for a free stairlift through social services. However, if a stairlift isn't an option financially, then there are other ways to ensure staircase safety at home:

  • Take your time walking up and down the stairs.
  • Get a relative or friend to help you.
  • Install a downstairs toilet to minimise trips up and down the stairs.
  • Consider downsizing and moving into a bungalow.

Read more about avoiding a staircase accident

8. Hot and Cold Weather

Very hot and very cold weather can be equally dangerous for elderly people. This is the case even if you stay inside and away from the heat or frost. However, there are plenty of things you can do at home to remain cool during the summer and toasty during the winter.

Safety at Home in Hot Weather

Heatwaves can cause dehydration, heat strokes, and overheating. High temperatures are particularly dangerous for those who suffer from heart or breathing problems. First of all, you should get out of the sun and into the comfort of your home. Next, follow these simple tips:

  • During peak sun times (11 am to 3 pm) shut your windows and pull down the shades. Only open your windows when it is cooler. Keep your rooms cool by using light-coloured curtains and closing them.
  • Have cool baths or showers. Splash your face with cool water if you feel too hot. Alternatively, soak a sponge or washcloth in cool water and place it on the back of your neck. Running cold water on your wrists can also be effective at reducing body temperature.
  • Drink cold drinks throughout the day. Stick to water and diluted juice. Avoid fizzy drinks, alcohol and caffeine.

Safety at Home in Cold Weather

Cold weather can be lethal. Ensuring safety at home means keeping your home warm and comfortable. For lots of people, the cost of heating your home can be an issue, but luckily there is help available. Everyone who receives a State Pension is eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment. This is a tax-free payment to help you cover your bills throughout the winter.

Here are some additional tips to help you stay warm:

  • Wear warm clothing. Layers are definitely the way to go because they trap warm air.
  • At night, keep your socks on when you go to bed. Wear warm pyjamas and use a hot water bottle.
  • Ensure your living room and bedroom are heated sufficiently.
  • Keep your curtains and doors closed. This will keep draughts away. Draught excluders are also an affordable solution.

9. Medication

Age often brings with it some significant changes to our bodies. Make sure that you are visiting your GP regularly and taking the correct medication. Managing your medication is a crucially important part of staying safe at home and maintaining your independence as an older person:

  • To avoid confusion, keep all medicines in their original containers with clear labels. Alternatively, if you are taking several different medications, consider investing in a pill organiser box.
  • Be aware of expiration dates. Make sure any medication you are taking is still in date.
  • Return any out of date or leftover medicines to the pharmacist for destruction.
  • Make sure to store any chemical cleaning products separately from medicines.

Keep an up-to-date medication list and give a copy to your family. If you have a personal alarm, let the Response Team know about any medication you take. This information can be useful in a medical emergency and the Response Team can inform the emergency services. There are also apps available for your phone and tablet which can remind you when it's time to take your medication.

10. Protect Yourself Against Intruders

Crime is one of the biggest concerns for lots of older people. It's sometimes easy to feel vulnerable in your home, especially if you live by yourself. However, there are several steps you can take to keep yourself safe.

Here are our home safety tips for protecting yourself against intruders:

  • Keep your valuable items out of view. Do not tempt potential criminals by advertising your desirable items.
  • If you wish to leave a spare key for family members, purchase a secure keysafe. Never hide keys under doormats or plant pots.
  • Always remember to lock your doors and windows whenever you leave your home.
  • For peace of mind, consider installing motion-activated lights, security cameras, or a video doorbell.

If you ever feel frightened or suspect that somebody is trying to enter your home, call the police immediately. It's always better to be safe than sorry.

Read more about how to avoid becoming a victim of crime

11. Maintain Social Contacts

Our final tip is potentially the best advice you can get when it comes to staying safe at home. By keeping in touch with the people around you, you'll improve both your quality of life and your mental health.

Loneliness can have major consequences on both physical and mental health. Feeling isolated can also make you feel more vulnerable at home.

Here are our top tips when it comes to staying in touch with those that you love:

  • Try to meet up with family and friends regularly. You don't need lots of time or money - going for a quick walk will make a difference.
  • Keep in touch the old-fashioned way - send letters and photographs to those who live further away.
  • Don’t be afraid to give someone a ring for no other reason than to have a catch-up.
  • Embrace new technology. Use social media and video calls to stay in contact with loved ones near and far.
  • Invest in a personal alarm and nominate the people you trust as your emergency contacts.

By maintaining a strong support network, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you have people to call on if you need them.

Read our tips on maintaining a strong social network

More Help with Safety at Home

As you can see, there are lots of things to consider when it comes to staying safe at home. For anyone who wants to maintain their independence, we would highly recommend a Lifeline24 alarm. The Lifeline24 personal alarm system means you will always have somebody to call for help, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

For more information on our life-saving personal alarms, please don't hesitate to call us on 0800 999 0400. Alternatively, fill in a quick contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

You can also order a Lifeline24 alarm online at any time. All our alarms are available with free next-day delivery.

 

Editor's Note: This article was updated on 25th May 2022 to reflect current information.

This article was contributed by Andrea Gibbs of SpringHive

As a caregiver, you want to do all you can to keep your ageing parent safe. This includes several things, such as installing new locks and smoke detectors in their home and keeping them well-fed. Still, it also means allowing them to maintain their independence.

Making sure they can stay independent is essential to their well-being, which is why it's important to keep them safe. If you don't, you'll soon find yourself dealing with someone who stops showering regularly or doesn't cook for themselves.

That means that you're asking yourself if you're doing enough to keep them safe. Are things going as planned? This can be difficult to know due to the responsibilities that come with caring for an ageing parent. Here are some tips for looking after your ageing parents.

Schedule Regular Visits

Scheduling regular visits with your ageing parent is a great way to monitor their safety. Make sure that you plan regular visits at least once a week, or even more often if you feel it necessary.

Visits should fit their timetable, not yours. If your parent is busy in the morning and evening, but has time in the afternoon, schedule one or two sessions around lunchtime so they don't feel rushed.

Double-Check Their Meds

If you have an ageing parent who need regular medical care, you might be worried about whether they are taking their medication properly. Medication errors can lead to serious health problems, so your loved one must take the proper medication at the right time of day.

Here are some tips for checking upon them:

  1. Make sure they are taking the correct medication and dosage. Make sure they are taking the proper medication and dosage. You can also monitor their health by having them take a pill review with their doctor if they aren't feeling well.
  2. Make sure they are taking their medications around the right times of day. Surprisingly, many people forget to take their pills at the correct times of day. This can lead to severe health problems - don't let it happen to your loved one.
  3. Check with the doctor if you are not sure what to do. You will most likely have more questions if your loved one isn't feeling well. Therefore, it may help to talk to their doctor to find out what is happening.

Review Their Groceries

It is also a good idea to check the groceries that your loved one is receiving to ensure they are adequately fed. It might seem small, but if they aren't taking care of their diet their health could suffer. To ensure that your parents' groceries are safe to consume, check the following:

  1. Look for expiration dates on perishable items. Make sure perishable items stay in their best condition for a minimum of five days, or even longer if you want to be extra safe.
  2. Check for spoilage or non-perishables (such as canned goods, meats, and condiments). Throw out anything that has been damaged.
  3. Make sure all of the product packaging is intact. The more sanitary the packaging, the less likely anything will go wrong.
  4. Check for insects, rodents, etc., and throw out anything that appears to be tainted or contaminated.
  5. Check for any unusual discoloration (pink spots etc.) and throw out anything that looks off.

Make Sure They Have Insurance

It's essential you make sure your ageing parent has the right insurance. Insurance policies can be tricky - there are so many options, and they're constantly changing. You may want to talk to an agent who can explain all the different insurance policies available and help you compare them by price, coverage, and more.

The best thing you can do for your ageing parent is to get them insured at a young age. The earlier they get insured, the more time those policies have to accrue cash value that will pay out when it comes time to collect (assuming these policies have not already been paid in full). Additionally, if your loved one needs long-term care someday down the line, having money saved up for this purpose will make things easier for everyone involved.

Install Home Safety Equipment

Fall prevention is a severe issue for the elderly, and your ageing parent can easily find themselves in danger if they aren't following proper safety precautions. To help your loved one stay safe around the house and avoid potential injuries, you should consider installing the following home safety equipment.

  • Alarms - For peace of mind around the home, a motion activated alarm could help to detect uninvited guests on your loved one's property. Alternatively, a personal alarm like those provided by Lifeline24 could allow your ageing parent to request help at the press of a button.
  • Window Guards - These prevent your parent from accidentally falling through open windows by creating barriers that prevent them opening wider than four inches. They're easy to install and maintain as long as they remain in good condition - just keep them clean and free of debris so they'll work properly.
  • Handrails - Handrails are available in many styles, heights, and materials (plastic, wood, metal, etc.) to help your ageing parent avoid tripping when they're walking around the house. It can also help keep them safe by giving them something to lean on if they feel unwell.
  • Video Surveillance - A good video surveillance system can drastically improve peace of mind. If there is an accident, a video surveillance system could help to establish the facts. It may even prove useful if your loved one has to claim of their insurance.

Help Them Craft a Crisis Plan

It's important to have a plan to help you and your parent manage crises. A crisis plan can help everyone involved in an emergency. You don't have to write up a lengthy, complicated document for this; instead, you can make it as simple as possible. An example of a crisis plan includes the following information:

  1. Contact information for family members and other caregivers
  2. Contact information for medical professionals and emergency services
  3. A list of important medical data, such as medications
  4. Medical history (recent surgeries, medical conditions, etc.)
  5. Medical resources - contact information for organisations and services that could be helpful in an emergency
  6. Insurance information and any other coverage information (e.g. your parent's life insurance policy)

Always Be There For Them

If your ageing parent is sick, there is no better feeling than knowing that you are by their side to get them back to normal. Your presence provides comfort and a sense of security, and you can be sure that your parent is getting the attention they need. If your family member is in the hospital, ask the nurses or doctors if there's anything you can do to assist them in their care. Your loved one will appreciate it, as they may not have anyone else who can do so.

Consider The Location

Sometimes, you may find that your loved ones would be better off in a new home. If moving does seem to be the best option to keep them safe, consider the following factors.

  • Is there easy access to public transport?
  • Will they be near a hospital or GP surgery?
  • Are there a variety of shops and food outlets in the area?
  • Will their home receive adequate amounts of daylight?
  • Are there stairs, and can your loved one cope with them?
  • Is the property in good condition, meeting all safety requirements?

Remember that all these factors are important to consider as you, your ageing parent, and family members are trying to make the best living arrangements possible.

Conclusion

It is crucial you have a plan when it comes to caring for your ageing parent. Making the right decisions about which services are needed will help avoid potential problems in the future. Making sure your parent is cared for regardless of the situation is important for making the best choices for them.

Lifeline24

You can provide additional support for your ageing loved ones by purchasing a Lifeline24 personal alarm. With a personal alarm, help is arranged at the push of a button. Lifeline24 also offer a fall detector plan for added peace of mind. Find out more today and get in touch with our helpful team on 0800 999 0400 to order your Lifeline24 alarm.

Author Bio

Andrea Gibbs is the Content Manager at SpringHive Web Agency, a company that offers web design services, maintenance, and Internet marketing. She specialises in content marketing, social media, and SEO. She also serves as a blog contributor at Serenity Senior Care. She's an avid personal development enthusiast and an expert in the field of health and fitness. When she's not writing she can be found running hills or hiking trails, rooting for her favourite team (the Pittburgh Steelers), or watching a good Netflix series.

The UK sometimes surprises us with a lengthy heatwave or two. Even for the most sun-loving people out there, the heat can be a bit too much - especially for those who work or live in buildings without air-conditioning. As summer getting closer, the likelihood of heatwaves increases.

The hot weather can be particularly dangerous for older people, with many suffering from dehydration or heat stroke. Fortunately, there are ways of keeping cool and safe during a heatwave, including these five top tips:

1. Stay Indoors During Peak Times

Although it feels like it's boiling all day long during a heatwave, the peak hours for the sun are between 11am and 3pm. During this time you should try and avoid being outside as temperatures will be at their highest.

2. Keep Hydrated & Eat Cooler Foods

Dehydration is one of the main risks as the temperature increases. It occurs when our bodies lose more fluid than they take in. Early signs of dehydration include a feeling of thirst, dizziness, a dry mouth, or having dark coloured urine. Dehydration in hot weather can be avoided by regularly drinking cool drinks such as water or fruit juice and avoiding hot caffeinated drinks like tea or coffee. You may need to keep drinking even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoiding alcohol is also a good idea as it will only make the dehydration worse.

Eating foods which high water content can also help during a heatwave, such as strawberries, grapefruit, melon, cucumber, and iceberg lettuce.

3. Keep your Home in the Shade

There are a few things that you can do around your home to help keep it a little bit cooler. Some top tips include:

  • Keeping your curtains closed if you have light-coloured ones.
  • Closing blinds during peak time.
  • Have your windows open up until the peak heat.
  • Keep your doors open so that rooms don't become too hot.

4. Take a Cool Bath or Shower

If you're feeling too hot then it might be best to head to your bathroom and take a nice cool bath or shower. Doing so will keep you refreshed and reduce your body temperature. Perhaps pour cold water over a flannel and keep this with you through your home.

5. Take it Easy during the Heatwave

One of the best things you can do during the heatwave is to take it easy. Doing even the easiest and simplest activity can cause more discomfort for you during the hot weather. Doing too much in the heat can lead to dehydration, which can dramatically hinder the body’s ability to stay cool.

Try and relax as much as possible and find the coolest room in your home to stay in for an hour or two. Take it easy, keep hydrated and avoid long periods of time out in the sunshine.

Personal Alarm Information

For more information about our life-saving personal alarm service, please get in touch with our friendly team on 0800 999 0400. Alternatively, complete our contact us form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Editor's Note: This article was updated on 20th May 2022 to reflect current information.

As we get older, certain medical conditions, medications, and changes to our bodies can put us at risk of falling. Older people are more likely to experience a fall, whether at home or out and about. In fact, according to the NHS, around one in three adults over 65 will have at least one fall a year. Therefore, it's important to do whatever you can to reduce your risk of falling. With this in mind, we're sharing our top 5 ways to prevent falls at home.

1. Assess Your Home

When it comes to preventing falls at home, the first step is to assess your surroundings. The main reasons for falls at home include balance issues, muscle weakness, and sensory problems. Assess your home room by room, looking out for areas and items that could cause you to fall for any of these reasons. These could include loose rugs or carpets, dimly-lit areas, or items that you need to reach for.

A high proportion of falls occur in the bathroom. Therefore, it may be a good idea to install grab rails around the bath and shower and next to the toilet. This is a simple, affordable way to prevent falls at home.

If you aren't sure what to look out for as you assess your home, ask a family member or neighbour to come and help you. Your doctor may also be able to arrange a professional home assessment for you. Make sure you are having regular check-ups with your GP and talk to them about your concerns.

After assessing your home, you may decide that it's time to downsize or move to a bungalow. Just like the bathroom, the stairs are a common site for falls at home. A bungalow eliminates that risk altogether.

2. Remove Hazards & Take Action

You've completed your home assessment. Now it's time to remove any hazards around your home. In most cases, this just requires a few simple changes which will be easy and inexpensive to make. Removing these hazards will automatically reduce your risk of falling at home, helping you stay safe and independent. Here are some examples of hazards in the home and how to fix them:

  • If you have any rugs in your home, make sure to secure them firmly in place. Use double-sided carpet tape to make sure your favourite rug is not a tripping hazard.
  • If necessary, reorganise your kitchen cupboards so that the items you use most are within easy reach. Make sure you don't have to stretch up too high or bend too low on a regular basis.
  • Install grab rails in the bathroom to prevent falls. In addition, fit a rubber mat on the floor of your bath and/or shower. Bathroom surfaces can easily become very slippery - grab rails and rubber mats help to reduce your risk of falling in the bathroom.

Remember, if you're struggling to move around your home safely, it may be time to move house.

3. Help with Mobility

If you are struggling with your balance and general mobility in your home but you don't want to move house, don't despair. There are plenty of products that can help you live safely and prevent falls at home.

For lots of older people, the main obstacle is the staircase. Whether you're having balance issues or you simply get out of breath, using the stairs can be hazardous. Everyone should have handrails or bannisters on both sides of the stairs. Make sure these are installed securely at elbow height - and make sure you hold onto them every time you use the stairs.

For those who need some extra help using the stairs, a stairlift is the perfect solution. These devices allow you to take a comfy seat, press a single button and relax as the lift carries you up and down the stairs. Of course, a stairlift is a big investment, but you shouldn't let the cost put you off. Contact your local council to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant. This is a government grant which can help you pay for your stairlift and other home adaptations. You can also buy reconditioned stairlifts, which are often much more affordable.

Similarly, there are plenty of mobility aids for the bathroom. These include bath steps, shower seats, and a raised toilet seat.

4. Assistive Technology

As the UK's population ages, technology continues to develop. Nowadays, there are plenty of helpful devices which can keep elderly people safe and independent. Lots of this assistive technology can help to prevent falls at home.

Rushing around the home is one of the biggest causes of falls; you're less likely to pay attention to where you're going if you're in a hurry. Think of situations where you might need to rush: when someone knocks at the door, or when a pot is boiling over on the stove, for example. Nowadays, you can attach a camera to your front door, with the footage coming through to your mobile device. This means you'll have no need to rush to see who's at the door - most devices let you speak into your smartphone to tell the person outside you are coming.

Stove alarms are great for people who may be forgetful. They work by learning how you use the cooker (to prevent false alarms) and sounding an alarm when the temperature rises but before a fire ignites.

You might also feel the need to rush to get to the telephone in time, but make sure you take your time moving around the house. Did you know that your Lifeline alarm can be programmed to answer the landline phone simply by pressing your pendant button?

5. Prevent Falls at Home by Planning Ahead

It may be that right now you're medically well and don't struggle with your balance around the home. However, as the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. It's far better to start thinking about how to prevent falls at home now, rather than waiting until a fall occurs. The fact that you're reading this article is a great sign - it means you're ready to take action and keep yourself safe at home.

After assessing your home for fall risks, you might identify a few hazards that could be fixed. Even if these changes aren't needed right now, they might become necessary soon. Be proactive and fix these problems before they become even more dangerous.

One of the most effective ways to prevent falls at home is to stay active. Regular exercise can improve your balance, coordination, and muscle strength, all of which are crucial for preventing falls. Furthermore, you should go for regular eye tests, stay hydrated, and wear shoes that fit well and have sturdy, gripping soles.

Read More: Leading Causes of Falls in the UK

Stay Safe At Home with a Personal Alarm

By taking these simple steps to prevent falls at home, you'll not only be protecting yourself. You'll also be helping to reduce strain on the NHS. Falls cause the vast majority of hip fractures among the elderly. Hip fractures and related care cost the NHS more than £2 billion every year.

The tips we've shared today will help you prevent falls at home. However, we know that accidents still happen. Therefore, it's important to have a plan in place in case you do fall. Lifeline alarms are an affordable and reliable way to protect yourself at home. If you have a fall, you'll be able to press a button on your Lifeline pendant. This will raise an alert with our Emergency Response Team, who will arrange help for you straight away.

For more information regarding our life-saving personal alarm service please get in touch by giving our friendly team a call on 0800 999 0400. Alternatively, you can send an email to info@lifeline24.co.uk and we'll respond as soon as possible.

You can order your new Lifeline alarm online today.

Read our Top Tips for Staying Safe at Home

Editor's Note: This article was updated on 27th April 2022 to reflect current information.

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