When elder law attorney Andrew Meier learned about the Stay Safe at Home injury prevention training available from Prevention 1st, he realized it was perfect for his older clients.
“My job is to protect people’s assets, and that usually starts when people are already in a nursing home,” said Meier. “But the best way to protect your assets is by staying out of a nursing home, by avoiding injury and living longer safely in your own home.”
This spring Webster Schubel & Meier, LLP sponsored and underwrote two free Stay Safe at Home workshops in Medina and Lockport, NY. The highly interactive trainings, taught by Prevention 1st trainer Bob Crandall, covered fall prevention, fire safety, emergency preparedness and household hazards.
A 30-year veteran of the Rochester Fire Department, Crandall had attendees draw “Pick-a-Risk” cards describing beliefs or behaviors that can increase their risk of fire and injury. The group discussed whether they had ever taken that risk, then looked at statistics on what could have happened because that behavior.
“As a fire investigator I heard from a lot of people about what led up to the fire. I created the Pick-a-Risk cards based on the stories I heard most often,” said Crandall. “These are very typical risks, like thinking that once you put up a smoke alarm you don’t have to worry about fire. Having a working smoke alarm cuts your risk of dying in a fire by 50%. But you don’t get to that 50% if you don’t check the alarm, a minimum of twice a year and preferably monthly, to make sure it is working. Looking at the data helps wake us up to the risks we’re taking and change that behavior.”
Meier feels that injury prevention is often missing from the discussion of asset protection. “Falls in particular can lead to long-term disability and precipitate fatalities. Attorneys are often on the front lines when these events occur, so injury prevention is something we should discuss with our clients.”
90% of older adults intend to live in their current home for the next 5-10 years. But one in three older adults falls each year ,and falls are the #1 cause of fatal injury for people 65 years and older. And older adults are two times more likely to die in a home fire than the rest of the U.S.
Meier plans to do more Stay Safe at Home trainings later this summer: “It’s a great service we can provide for our clients just as Prevention 1st provides a great service to the community.”
Stay Safe at Home injury prevention training for older adults is available as a group seminar or as an in-home safety assessment.
Contact Jen Ralph, Program Coordinator at (585) 383-6543 or firstname.lastname@example.org