Prevention, Self-Care, and Safety

Fall Prevention

About Balance and Safety
A balance disorder is a disturbance of the inner ear that can make you feel unsteady or like you’re moving or spinning.
For Seniors: How to Prevent Falls
As you age, your risk for falling increases. More than one-third of people ages 65 and older and half of those ages 75 and older fall each year. And many falls in older adults result in fractures and other severe injuries.
Preventing Falls
About 75 percent of all falls occur at home. Taking certain precautions and exercising to stay physically strong can prevent many of them.
Preventing Falls One Step at a Time
Although it's impossible to prevent all falls, you can help keep yourself safe by improving your balance and employing "fall-proofing" behaviors.
Emergency Information Form
In an emergency, it is easy to "forget" even the most well-known information. That's why it is crucial for you to complete the information in this form for each member of your household.
Vital Signs (Body Temperature, Pulse Rate, Respiration Rate, Blood Pressure)
Vital signs are useful in detecting or monitoring medical problems. Vital signs can be measured in a medical setting, at home, at the site of a medical emergency, or elsewhere.

Preventative Care

Pneumonia and Influenza
Flu and pneumonia are respiratory illnesses that should not be taken lightly. In the United States, pneumonia and the flu combined are the sixth leading cause of death. Older adults are at greater risk than younger adults for contracting pneumococcal pneumonia, the most common bacterial form of the disease.
Coping with Chronic Pain
Effective pain treatments are available. You can also take steps yourself to ease ongoing discomfort.
For Seniors: Don’t Brush Off Dental Care
Older adults may have dental concerns that can’t be totally taken care of with just brushing and flossing.
Overview of Sleep Problems
Sleep is essential to physical and emotional health. Adequate sleep may also play a role in helping the body recover from illness and injury.
For Seniors: You Can Beat the Heat
After age 65, your body can't adjust to changes in air temperature -- especially heat -- as quickly as it did when you were younger. That puts you at risk for heat-related illnesses.
How Older Adults Can Prevent Hypothermia
Age lowers your ability to endure long periods of cold. You're also at risk if your response to cold is impaired by certain illnesses or medications.
Older Adults and the Common Cold
Cold and flu season is hard on everyone, but for older adults who may have chronic health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, it’s especially challenging.
Medical Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
Some symptoms may indicate the possibility of a serious condition and should be evaluated immediately by a health care provider.
For Older Adults: What Screenings Do You Need?
When should you have your cholesterol checked? Be screened for colorectal cancer? Here's a timeline for screenings and checkups.

Working with Your Health Care Team

For Seniors: Choosing a New Doctor
Whatever the reason for needing a new primary care physician, these suggestions can help you find the right doctor.
How to Evaluate Your Health Care Providers
To make sure you’re getting high-quality care, ask yourself if your health care provider is meeting your needs in five areas.
Maintaining Your Personal Health Record
A PHR can help reduce or eliminate duplicate tests and allow you to receive faster, safer treatment and care in an emergency. It also can help you play a more active role in your health care.
Choosing a Hospital
You don't have time to choose a hospital if you have a health emergency. But if you’re facing surgery or treatment for a particular health condition, taking time to find a hospital that meets your needs is well worth the effort.

Well-Being

Preventing Falls
About 75 percent of all falls occur at home. Taking certain precautions and exercising to stay physically strong can prevent many of them.
Pets Fill a Special Role in Seniors' Lives
Having a pet can be a boon to body and soul—especially as we age. Pets can relieve stress—which may help explain why studies have found that pet owners have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Keep Your Noggin Fit with Brain Exercise
Active thinking pumps extra blood into your brain. Getting more blood to the brain is an important way to counteract the effects of aging.
Older Adults and the Importance of Social Interaction
Research has shown that social interaction offers older adults many benefits. Staying socially active and maintaining interpersonal relationships can help you maintain good physical and emotional health and cognitive function.
When Sadness Is Seasonal
If you feel depressed during fall and winter months, you may have a form of depression called seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Home and Personal Safety

Preparing for Severe Winter Weather
Knowing how to prepare for a storm, and what to do during and after one, can help keep you and your family safe.
Be in the Know When on the Go in Winter
If you live in an area where winter brings snow, slush and ice, the best advice about driving in these conditions is not to. But if you must venture out, be prepared.
Safety Checklist: How Does Your Family Rate?
Keeping your family safe and sound can be as easy as following simple safety rules consistently. Here's a checklist from the National Safety Council can help you maintain essential safety precautions.
In Case of Emergency...Be Ready for Anything
Don't wait to think about disaster until you're dealing with one. In the hurried confusion, you're likely to miss important items as you prepare your home or leave to seek shelter.
5 Home Safety Threats You Might Overlook
For safety's sake, look through your home often. Keep an eye out for not-so-obvious hazards.
Protect Yourself from Sexual Assault
Rape can happen to anyone—children, grandmothers, students, working women, wives, mothers, and even males.
Avoid Cane and Walker Injuries
Walking aids can help you stay mobile—but only when they’re used safely.
Street Smarts: How to Protect Yourself When Walking
Walking alone on the street—especially as a woman carrying a purse—can still be a dangerous thing to do. You can take a few easy steps to minimize your risk when walking on the street, whether it’s at night or any other time. Here are some tips.
How to Prevent Identity Theft
Luckily, having your identity stolen is far from inevitable. It just takes a little vigilance on your part to keep your identity safe on your computer and out of the hands of would-be thieves.