Living alone is not always easy for people when they’re older. This is especially true if they were married for decades, but are now widowed or divorced. When seniors are facing new challenges in life, safety can be compromised.
Their strength declines over time.
People in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s will all experience less strength, balance, and agility. It might take them longer to do some of the most basic things they took for granted in their younger years. There’s also likely an elevated risk they could slip and fall or be injured in some other mishap.
What happens if emergency responders have to enter the home, but it’s locked?
A lot of people don’t think about these scenarios. There are plenty of ways for first responders to enter a home without too much difficulty. Even a steel reinforced door could be busted open with the right tools. The fire department has plenty of tools that can help them gain access into a home, but having to go through that will slow down entry and every minute counts during an emergency.
For example, if a person is having a heart attack, if their heart goes into fibrillation, meaning it is coming to a stop, every minute that goes by without a defibrillator and emergency support decreases the risk of surviving by 50 percent.
What can be done to improve safety for these seniors?
They could contact their local police department, EMS, and fire department to find out if there are specific things they can do, but more often than not they could purchase a simple lockbox, the kind that real estate agents use, and keep a spare key on the entry doors. They can then contact emergency services with the combination to the lock.
They should also tell their closest family members, friends, and trustworthy neighbors what that combination is in the event emergency responders arrive there and don’t have the code.
Not everyone will feel comfortable with this type of scenario, but when every minute counts, helping emergency responders get into the house as quickly as possible can mean the difference between life and death.
When seniors live alone and when they acknowledge their safety is not as secure as it had been in the past, and when they understand there’s an increased risk of some type of emergency situation arising when nobody else is in the house with them, they might want to consider some of these measures.