Safety Tips for Seniors in Nursing Home PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Niru Prasad   

I have prepared some safety guidelines for our Senior Citizens as well as people living in nursing home facilities as to how they can protect themselves against injuries and accidents.

Any individual with cardiovascular disease should observe these safety tips while working outdoors-mowing lawns or gardening:

DO NOT cut grass or do gardening if the temperature exceeds 80 degrees because you can easily get dehydrated.

ALWAYS use a self-propelled mower.

Take frequent breaks so you don’t get exhausted.

Stop immediately if you feel chest discomfort, pain, irregular heartbeat or light-headedness.

Ask for medical help immediately.

How to recognize medical emergencies

Being an emergency room physician and pediatrician, I deal with lots of medical and surgical emergencies which often can be prevented by recognizing the early signs and symptoms of lift threatening conditions and every one should learn to recognize them and seek for immediate medical help. It is also very important for use to learn CPR, how to save a choking victim or control bleeding even before dialing 911 for an ambulance.

You can protect your family by recognizing some of the life threatening symptoms and getting medical help immediately.

The following are the warning signs of medical emergencies:

Heart Attack – Uncomfortable chest pressure, squeezing pain under chest lasting for 2 minutes or longer, pain radiating to jaw, arms or neck with numbness, shortness of breath or abdominal discomfort.

Difficulty Breathing – Shortness of breath, generalized swelling of the body and wheezing are common manifestations of asthma and heart failure.

Sudden onset of dizziness, fainting, weakness of extremities, change in vision are suggestive of impending stroke.

Changes in mental status, unusual behaviors, confusion and difficulty arousing could be due to serious central nervous system disorder.

Persistent vomiting and blood in vomitus with abdominal pain could be related to bleeding Peptic Ulcer disease.

You can call for help by dialing 911, however keep the numbers of the fire department, police and emergency medical services near your telephone in the kitchen or family room areas.

Since injuries and accidents are the leading cause of death for people under 45 years of age and the third leading cause of death in all age groups, it is very important for us to have a first aid kit in a tote bag handy in your kitchen or family room and all the family members should know how to use them.

The kit should contain some of the following items:

Acetaminophen, Motrin for fever and bodyaches.

Elastic wrap for wrapping wrist, ankle, elbow or knee for suspected fractures and bleeding control.

Triangular bandage for wrapping injuries and making arm slings.

Scissors with rounded tips.

Adhesive tapes.


Antibiotic ointment for burns or cuts.

Gauze rolls in different sizes to control bleeding.

Safety pins and tweezers.

Syrup of Ipecac to induce vomiting for poisoned victim after consulting physician.