When rainwater came down the chimney during a storm and soaked the carpet around Anne’s fireplace, her son was quick to pop by her Langley bungalow to fix the issue. To speed the drying process, he pulled up the carpet and left with a warning to tread carefully around the hazard.
“What did I do?” Anne asks rhetorically with a lilting Scottish laugh, “I fell right over it! And then I lay on the floor for three hours. I had Lifeline, but the thing was, it was in the drawer,” Anne tells the story with self-deprecating humour. Her injuries weren’t serious, but the incident raised questions for Anne and her family about her safety around the house.
Seniors face many safety concerns day to day. There are physical challenges that come with ageing eyesight and slower reflexes. Increasingly there are also hazards that come from external sources: phone calls requesting credit card information, credible-looking emails asking for banking information, voicemails asserting you’re involved in a lawsuit.
“Safety for seniors is often about practical things: night lights in the hallway, grab bars in the bathroom, cell phones close by,” says Shannon Saunders, Manager of Sunridge Gardens in Murrayville. “But I’ve found the best safety practice for seniors is to be surrounded by a strong support system.”
The age-old adage, ‘there’s safety in numbers’ proves true as seniors navigate the realities of home and personal safety. “Isolation is the thing that’s most dangerous,” continues Saunders. “When seniors have close relationships they have someone to talk to about their concerns and someone to share their experiences with.”
Connecting and resourcing seniors is what the Langley Seniors Resource Society does best. On November 7 and 28 they are hosting the Seniors Safety Series, a two-part safety workshop aimed at creating a conversation about personal safety among seniors. Langley RCMP Community Liaison Officer Dianne Robinson will speak about issues related to elder abuse and fraud. Captain Brent Perry, Fire Prevention Officer with the Langley City Fire Department, will speak about home and personal safety.
Admission is free and both sessions will feature coffee and refreshments. To register, call the LSRS front desk 604.530.3020