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Safety on the road

By Sere Halverson

If your relative is active and on-the-go, that’s terrific. But older people are vulnerable to certain crimes and dangers. Remind your parents or loved ones to take these precautions:

  • Keep water, blankets, non-perishable food, flashlight, maps, and a first-aid kit in the trunk. Make sure you have a working spare tire, too.
  • Always check weather reports before heading out.
  • Don’t use the ATM alone at night.
  • Don’t pull over for strangers.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Don’t leave notes on the front door when you leave.
  • Put a hold on newspapers and mail while you’re away.
  • Do leave a few lights on when you’re gone.
  • Avoid walking on frozen or slick surfaces.
  • Always inform a family member or friend of your plans.
  • Keep your money tucked safely away.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather.
  • Be sure to pack plenty of any needed medications.
  • Keep your cell phone charged and with you at all times.

Combating Cell Phone Phobias

Some older adults are reluctant to get a cell phone. After all, they’ve gotten by without one all these years, why be burdened by one now? Plus, the darn things can be hard to use! But there are now simplified cell phones with bigger screens and bigger buttons, designed specifically for the older crowd. If your parents have cell phone phobia, encourage them to try one of these versions.

GPS Also Stands for Good Parent Safety

A Global Positioning System can be a lifesaver for seniors who sometimes get disoriented. These can include voice-activated detailed directions to help them find their way. There is also a tracking device available, which allows you to access their vehicle should you become concerned about their whereabouts.

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