February 9, 2012


Sgt. Kim Cole


The “boomer” generation is aging and represents a large percentage of the population. As they transition, we see a higher number of people who live at home alone or with their pets for a multitude of reasons. The following are several tips to insure personal and property security:

Do something different everyday. For at least one hour, walk outside or around the house; use the stairs to the basement or second floor to get some exercise.

Get rid of the “trippers.” We all love throw rugs, floor baskets for magazines, extension cords, and other loose items, but they present an opportunity to trip causing injury.

Subscribe to a home alert system and use the necklace alarm. The longer it takes to get help after a fall or medical issue can determine the future quality of life.

Can you move about freely? Think of the emergency personnel: can they get a group down the hall?

Know the warning signs for a stroke: weakness on one-side of the body (face/arm/leg), slurred speech, lightheaded, confusion, trouble speaking, sudden confusion/numbness of an arm or leg/trouble seeing, loss of balance or coordination, bad headache, rapid onset of fever, or vomiting.

Know the warning signs for a heart attack: radiating pain in the arm or jaw, tightness in the center of the chest, a feeling of pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, difficulty in breathing, denial (“I am not having a heart attack”), indigestion, back-pain not previously noted, or cold sweats.

Keep active and have a full schedule: join charitable organizations, volunteer at the hospital, start a reading/investment club, have lots of reasons to be missed.

Get on the internet or the phone daily for brief periods with your friends so they know you are OK.

Set up nighttime lights that are activated by timers or darkness.

Install hand grips in all areas where there is a potential for a spill: staircases, bathrooms, a hallway banister, a second staircase banister on the other wall, etc.

Do not let newspapers or mail accumulate on your front doorstep.

Kim Cole is a sergeant on the Mason County Sheriff’s Dept. The views expressed in this column do not necessarily represent the Mason County Sheriff’s Dept. nor MasonCountyPress.com. 

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