Senior Safety

Personal safety is something everyone should be concerned about but new issues arise as we age and develop difficulty with our mobility.  This is compounded by chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and breathing problems.  Many seniors are living alone in the community without close neighbors or family checking in on them throughout the day.  Falls are the number one reason that seniors loose their independence and get admitted to a nursing home.  Seniors also have a greater risk of death from a falls.  Studies show that most falls occur in the home in the rooms where you spend the most time.  So ask yourself:  if I fall would I be able to summon help? Can emergency vehicles easily find my home in the country?  My husband has dementia, what if he wanders into the woods, how will we find him?  Senior safety tools available through Office for the Aging may be able to help as well as our Fall prevention courses.  One program called “Stepping On” helps you discover all the reasons why people fall and all the little things you can do every day to prevent a fall. (For more on Fall Prevention programs see the Exercise and Wellness section)

For more information on senior safety or to speak with someone who can guide you, call NY Connects at 716-753-4582, 716-661-7582,716-363-4582 or e-mail us at ccnyc@co.chautauqua.ny.us

Some Safety items available through Office for the Aging:

PERS: Personal Emergency Response Buttons.  These are buttons worn on the wrist or on a necklace to push when you’ve fallen. There are many different types & features see the homecare section for more information or call NY Connects

911 Cell Phones: Cell phones only need a charged battery to call 911, you do not need cell service. Free cell phones are available at any OFA.  You must keep them charged for this to work and you must be able to call 911 and be able to tell the operator where you are.  Without cell service the 911 operator will not be able to automatically locate you.

Operation  RUSH: “Return Us Home Safely”: These are bracelets or pendants for people who have memory impairment and are prone to wander.  There is no cost for these but may not be ideal if you live in a rural setting. 

RUOK: Are You OK- Free computer generated call from the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department to check on you daily at the time of your choosing.  When you answer the phone it prompts you to “push any number if you are OK.”  If you do not answer or do not push the button, the sheriff will call someone you designate to check on you.  If you or your designated person cannot be reached, the sheriff will send a patrol car to check on you.  Sign up for this free service through Office for the Aging.  New features of the program include multiple calls and medication reminders.

Rural House Numbering Project: Green signs with white glow-in-the-dark numbers allow emergency vehicles to find your home day or night. These signs can be place on the mail box or at the end of your driveway. A $10 donation helps to cover the cost, $15 if you need a post.