June is National Safety Month, reminding us of the importance of being prepared, educated and understand the leading causes of preventable injuries. Visit NSC.org to learn more.
As caregivers, it is important to be on the watch for unforeseen hazards around the home. Consider the following:
1. Safe Disposal of Medications: Medicines play an important role in treating many conditions and diseases, especially when receiving hospice services. When they are no longer needed, it is important to dispose of them properly to help reduce harm from accidental exposure or intentional misuse. Consider safely disposing of medications through drug take-back programs, mail-back programs or collection receptacles. Visit the DEA’s website for more information about drug disposal, National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day events and to locate a DEA-authorized collector in your area. You may also call the DEA Office of Diversion Control’s Registration Call Center at 1-800-882-9539 to find an authorized collector in your community.
2. Prevent Falls: The CDC reports that each year, one in every three adults ages 65 or older falls and 2 million are treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries. To prevent falls, consider the following:
- Remove things you can trip over from stairs and places where you walk.
- Install handrails and lights on all staircases and grab bars in bathrooms.
- Remove or secure small throw rugs.
- Keep items you use often in cabinets you can reach easily without using a step stool.
- Improve the lighting in your home.
3. Be Emergency Ready: The best way to be ready for the possibility of a public health emergency such as a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or disease outbreak is to have a plan. You can take steps now to help you prepare for an emergency and cope if an emergency happens. The CDC recommends it is important to know how you will contact family members and friends and understand the special steps you will take in different types of emergency situations. Click here to view information from the CDC to help you be prepared!