We are pleased to announce the much anticipated release of the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ online course!
Our goal is to provide a holistic curriculum and a fresh look at many issues affecting seniors endeavoring to “age safe at home”.
The Senior Home Safety Specialist™ course empowers participants with actionable ways to better help educate clients, older adults and their family members on the serious issues of home safety, fall prevention, financial exploitation and personal safety. This comprehensive 6-hour self-paced audio/video course offers the only certificate of its kind to individuals within the senior services industry. This important training consists of a 10-module self-study educational program with a quiz after each section that participants must pass in order to continue. Upon successfully completing the entire course, you will receive an attractive Certificate along with a digital copy of the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ emblem to use in your own marketing efforts.
What is Covered in This Online Course: – Fall Prevention Myths and Solutions – Fire Safety Precautions and Solutions – Aging-in Place Home Modifications – Mobility and Accessibility Issues – Home and Senior Safety Technologies – Considerations for Alzheimer’s/Dementia – Crime Prevention and Personal Safety – Senior Exploitation, Identity Theft and Scams – Communication with Older Adults and Family – Performing a Complete Home Safety Assessment
If you have a group of 4 or more participants please use the form to the right to request a 25% DISCOUNT!
Here’s what people are saying about the course:
“The Age Safe America course is extremely well organized and informative. The instructors are knowledgeable and provide clear examples for the student to achieve success. There was not one glitch with the software which is amazing considering that amount of audio and video files attached to the training course. The idea of the point system and badges is brilliant because it provides the user with visual goals and a sense of accomplishment. Well Done!”.
Christopher MacLellan, “The Bowtie Guy” Caregiver Advocate, Founder of the Whole Care Network
“An amazing collection of information, well-presented. Good reminders of things we knew or should have known and a whole lot more new info – especially the Alzheimer’s segments. Great job! I like the way the segments are different lengths and formats also. Obviously a lot of time and effort went into the creation and production of this course”.
Steve Hoffacker, CAPS, CEAC, SHSS NAHB Master Instructor | CAPS Instructor of the Year 2015
Age SafeAmerica is a national membership, training and advocacy organization dedicated to meet the growing need for Home Safety Assessments and Aging-in-Place Home Modifications. The company is directed by nationally recognized experts in fall prevention, home safety, aging-in-place, universal design, home modifications, environmental assessment, and marketing to seniors and aging boomers. We provide training, consulting, certifications, product reviews, tools, resources and support to businesses and organizations providing products and services to seniors and their adult children.
Age SafeAmerica is committed to home safety and accessibility to help older adults improve their odds for having an independent and productive life. Age Safe America offers the Senior Home Safety Specialist™ course to individuals currently serving seniors, that includes education for home safety, fall prevention, fire safety, home modifications and crime prevention. The goal of Age Safe America is to help older adults and their families enjoy the comfort, freedom and independence to “age safe at home.”
As we age, our risk of death from fire increases significantly. This excellent video reviews tips for this often overlooked area of home safety. Fact is, older adults face the greatest relative risk of dying in a fire. In a report by the US Fire Administration in 2014 older adults represented 14 percent of the United State
s population but suffered 38 percent of all fire deaths. Older adults over 65 have 2.6 times greater risk of dying in a fire than the total population. And those ages 85 and over were 4.1 times more likely to die in a fire than the total population. Practice safe smoking, safe cooking, and safe heating in your home.
Living in Southern California, we don’t have to worry about the dreaded tornadoes or hurricanes that batter the Midwest and East Coast. However, we have our own natural disasters that we must prepare our families and homes for. Earthquakes can hit us at any time without any notice at all. It is important to have a plan in place that everyone in your house knows about. That will keep the panic down to a minimum when the inevitable happens. Use the list below that is given to us by Ready.gov to help you prepare your home.
Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.
Mirrors, picture frames, and other hanging items should be secured to the wall with closed hooks or earthquake putty. Do not hang heavy objects over beds, sofas, or any place you may be seated.
Objects such as framed photos, books, lamps, and other items that you keep on shelves and tables can become flying hazards. Secure them with hooks, adhesives, or earthquake putty to keep them in place.
Bookcases, filing cabinets, china cabinets, and other tall furniture should be anchored to wall studs (not drywall) or masonry. Use flexible straps that allow them to sway without falling to the floor.
Electronics such as computers, televisions and microwave ovens are heavy and expensive to replace. Secure them with flexible nylon straps.
Brace overhead light fixtures and top heavy objects.
Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire risks. Get appropriate professional help. Do not work with gas or electrical lines yourself.
Install flexible pipe fittings to avoid gas or water leaks. Flexible fittings are more resistant to breakage.
Secure your water heater, refrigerator, furnace and gas appliances by strapping them to the wall studs and bolting to the floor. If recommended by your gas company, have an automatic gas shut-off valve installed that is triggered by strong vibrations.
Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.
Get professional help to assess the building’s structure and then take steps to install nonstructural solutions, including foundation bolts, bracing cripple walls, reinforcing chimneys, or installing an earthquake-resistant bracing system for a mobile home. Examples of structures that may be more vulnerable in an earthquake are those not anchored to their foundations or having weak crawl space walls, unbraced pier-and-post foundations, or unreinforced masonry walls or foundations. Visit fema.gov/earthquake-safety-home for guidance on nonstructural ways to reduce damage and earthquake resistant structural design or retrofit.
Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.
Locate safe spots in each room under a sturdy table or against an inside wall. Reinforce this information by moving to these places during each drill.
Hold earthquake drills with your family members: Drop, cover and hold on.
Southern California has been plagued with a major drought in the last few years. As a result, huge wild fires have been destroying our neighborhoods. The fires have been even spreading to the coast where we thought they would never happen because of the coastal breeze and humidity. It is necessary to understand what you need to do during an emergency evacuation. Use the list below given to us by Ready.gov to prepare yourself and your family.
Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood. Use the Family Emergency Plan to decide these locations before a disaster.
If you have a car, keep a full tank of gas in it if an evacuation seems likely. Keep a half tank of gas in it at all times in case of an unexpected need to evacuate. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies and unable to pump gas during power outages. Plan to take one car per family to reduce congestion and delay.
Become familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency.
Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.
Be alert for road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.
If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if you have to. Make arrangements with family, friends or your local government.
Call or email the out-of-state contact in your family communications plan. Tell them where you are going.
Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.
Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding. If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.
Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a cap.
Check with neighbors who may need a ride.
If you are a senior that would like help preparing your home for a natural disaster, Age Safe Advisor Members can get the job done!
Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults. As more Americans age, falls will become even more numerous and costly than they are now. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts these staggering statistics in a context that really brings the problem home: one out of every three seniors falls each year; every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in an emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall. As alarming as they are, these documented statistics fall short of the actual numbers since many incidents are unreported by seniors and unrecognized by family members or caregivers. There are potentially millions more unreported falls.
Falls account for 25% of all hospital admissions and 40% of all nursing home admissions. 40% of those admitted will never return to independent living and 25% will die within one year.
The majority, 55 percent, of fall injuries among older people occurs inside the home and an additional 23 percent happen outside, but near the house. More fall injuries are caused by falls on the same level (vs. stairs) and from a standing highlight, i.e. tripping while walking. Many of these falls, and the resulting injuries, can be prevented by taking steps to eliminate or fix potential hazards in and around the home.
Let’s not forget the importance of Fire Safety:
Consider these statistics for older adults compared to the rest of the U.S. population:
People between 65 and 74 are nearly TWICE as likely to die in a fire.
People between 75 and 84 are nearly FOUR times as likely to die in a fire.
People ages 85 and older are more than FIVE times as likely to die in a fire.
Careless smoking is the LEADING cause of fire deaths and second leading cause of injuries among people ages 65 and older.
Heating equipment is the SECOND leading cause of fire death and the third leading cause of injury to people ages 65 and older.
Cooking is the THIRD leading cause of fire deaths and the leading cause of injury among people ages 65 and older.
Here’s why we developed Age Safe America. 90% of older Americans say they want to age-in-place (meaning to stay in their own home instead of assisted living), yet 85% have done nothing to prepare their homes for aging. Plus much of the nation’s housing inventory lacks basic accessibility features, preventing older adults and those with disabilities from living safely and comfortably in their homes.
A New England Burden of Disease (BODE) report stated that “home safety assessment and modification” appears to be “a very cost-effective health sector intervention.” And even more cost-effective was targeting this intervention to older people with previous injurious falls. The cost-benefit analysis found a “33 percent reduction in spending to treat fall injuries over three years, and potentially a six-fold savings in ‘social costs’ related to such injuries.” In that study the average cost per home modification was $448.
A 2014 report by the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies found that the five most important “universal design” features in the home are: no-step entries, extra-wide hallways, accessible living spaces on the ground floor and accessible light switches and door levers. However, the Harvard cites survey data indicating that only 1% of housing units in America have all five of these features. Or, as a Washington Post article headlined, “America is rapidly aging in a country built for the young.”
Simple changes can make measurable impact.
The overall goal is to make the home safer. Typical changes include the following:
Getting safely and securely into and out of the house.
Better outdoor lighting to get you from your car to the door.
Attractive ramps or a zero-step entrance for the home.
A package shelf by front door.
Handrails at existing steps and porches.
A front door with sidelight for security.
Fewer or no stairs.
Changes in the kitchen for easier meal preparation and eating.
Lever-handle faucets with pull-out spray.
Raised dishwasher to avoid back strain (a good idea for front-loading washers and dryers, too).
Rolling island that can be placed back under the counter.
Revolving corner shelves and pull-out shelves.
Lower, side-opening oven.
Pull-out cutting board.
Adjustable height sink.
Side-by side refrigerator with slide-out shelves and a water/ice dispenser.
Cooktop with controls on front.
Larger, friendlier cabinet and drawer pulls.
Changes in the bathrooms – the #1 place for accidents in your home.
Attractive grab bars in the shower.
Lever handles on faucets.
Slide-bar-type hand-held shower, for sitting or standing.
Shampoo nooks inset in the wall.
Curbless showers so that there is nothing to step over or rolled into with a wheelchair.
Tub and shower controls moved closer to entry point.
Anti-scald, temperature and pressure balanced tub shower valves for safer bathing.
Widened entry doors to at least 32.”
32”-36” pocket doors.
Higher toilets with non-slam seats and lids.
Moving around within the house.
Improved lighting with recessed fixtures in common areas and hallways.
Lever handles on doors and windows.
Lower light switches and thermostats; raised outlets.
Planning for a future elevator by stacking closets.
Adding blocking in walls for future chair lift at stairs.
Wider doors that accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.
These are just a few examples. Virtually all rooms of your house can be improved, even closets and garages.
5 Simple Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Fall Risk:
Begin a regular exercise program.
Review your medicines regularly.
Have your vision checked annually.
Wear sturdy, nonskid shoes at all times.
Make your home environment safer.
100% of ER doctors agree that an annual Home Safety Assessment is important to keep seniors safe at home.
A comprehensive Home Safety Assessment can pay for itself by avoiding the high cost of injury or assisted living.
Who is Age Safe America?
Age Safe America® is a national membership, training and advocacy organization dedicated to meet the growing need for Home Safety Assessments and Aging-in-Place Home Modifications. Members are independent advisors, providers, contractors and professionals dedicated to helping seniors and their families determine the steps necessary to maximize both safety and independence.
Today in America someone is turning 65 every 8 seconds. Our Advisor and Business Members provide assessments, solutions, product recommendations and installation.
Aging affects each individual differently. Some seniors experience physical limitations that seriously affect their level of activity while others are able to remain quite active. The natural process of growing older, however, generally includes changes in abilities. If you’re experiencing some of the problems associated with the changes described below, consult your health professional and make sure you undertake whatever changes or adaptations will help you cope and compensate.
Eyes take longer to adjust from dark to light and vice versa, and become more sensitive to glare from sunlight or unshielded light bulbs. There is a decline in depth perception that can make it hard to judge distances. Perceiving contrasts and colors can also be more difficult.
Touch, Smell and Hearing
Sensitivity to heat, pain and pressure decreases; this may make it more difficult to detect a liquid’s temperature or changes in ground or floor surfaces. Sense of smell diminishes, making it harder to smell spoiled food, leaking gas and smoke. Hearing loss can result in difficulty hearing telephones, doorbells, smoke alarms, etc.; it can also result in a decrease in balance, which can make falling more likely.
Bones naturally become less dense and weaker with age. Bone loss (osteoporosis) among seniors can be worsened by lack of exercise and nutritional deficiencies. Bone loss can lead to painful fractures, disfigurement, lowered self-esteem and a reduction or loss of mobility.
Balance and Gait
Balance is a complex function involving eyes, inner ear, muscular strength and joint flexibility. Any one of these can change as a result of aging. A general decline in equilibrium can make it more difficult to maintain or recover balance, meaning that a slip or trip can become a fall. The speed of walking, the height to which the heels are lifted, and the length of a person’s stride can change with age. These changes can make it more likely for someone to experience a fall.
In general, sharp brains tend to stay sharp. Cognitive processing and memory may take a bit longer, but this is a normal effect of aging. This is why it’s important to make lists and keep phone numbers handy.
Most seniors develop effective coping mechanisms as they age. Being aware of the normal changes of aging allows you to plan for home and lifestyle adaptations that will help you retain your health, quality of life and independence.