Aging is inevitable for everyone - young and old, male and female, rich and poor. World Health Day is April 7, and the focus is on how good health can help older men and women lead full and productive lives. The American Red Cross offers steps people can follow to help ensure this older generation enjoys a healthy life.
According to the United States Census Bureau, 13 percent of the population in this country is over the age of 65, an increase of 15 percent in the twelve years since the 2000 census. Many people in this age group live alone; others are being cared for by family members.
PREVENT FALLS Falling is a leading cause of injury and hospitalization among the older generation and most falls occur in the home. Attending to any issues that can increase the risk of falling may prevent injuries. Some of these are fairly simple such as making sure one’s eyeglasses are clean and stairs and hallways are well-lit and clutter-free. Installing handrails on all stairways and keeping floors dry can also help to prevent falls. The Red Cross Family Caregiving Guide provides comprehensive guidance on preventing and responding to falls, in addition to other topics important to seniors.
BE PREPARED It’s important to be prepared for emergencies, whether a natural disaster or something occurring in the home. Everyone should have a support system of individuals who can help in an emergency. And, there are three steps everyone should take to get ready – build an emergency kit, make a plan on what to do in an emergency, and be informed by knowing what emergencies can occur. The Red Cross Disaster Preparedness guide can help someone prepare for emergencies.The Red Cross Family Caregiving Guide
LIFELINE The Lifeline by the American Red Cross program has helped more than 100,000 seniors live more independently by offering prompt response from highly trained, caring Response Associates at the push of a button.. Lifeline with AutoAlert can detect a fall without having anyone push a button. Seniors can use the Medication Dispensing Service to help make sure they take medications at the right time in safe doses.
World Health Day has been observed since 1948 to mark the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO). More information is available on these global observances which ask world leaders to focus on a single health issue on the WHO web site.