Dear Friends of OPICA,
When an incident occurs where a friend or family member falls and/or hurts themselves at home, I’m reminded of how important safety procedures are for our OPICA members and for older people throughout our community. Here at OPICA I am pleased to say that we have instituted several procedures to make certain our members are safe.
In the event a participant (or member) demonstrates an elevated risk of trying to leave the program before their scheduled pick-up time, we utilize an alert system that notifies staff if someone is trying to leave the property. Each exit has a different tone. In addition, OPICA collaborates with an occupational therapy school that sends students to OPICA on a regular basis for training. While they are on site, the students work with members and staff on identifying potential risks and provide instructions/suggestions for body mechanics that are beneficial to the participant.
I also encourage you and your family members to have safe practices at home and as you move around the city. Getting in and out of a car is one of the major safety concerns. Sitting down first and turning around into the car is an important practice. There are devices one can purchase to attach to your car door to make getting in and out easier and safer. Area rugs in your house are another potential problem area. Make sure they are not easy to trip on. Using one’s cane or walker (if necessary) in the house is another important safety tip. Too often we think, “Oh I’m home and don’t need the cane to walk to the kitchen!”
If you have a concern about balance or fall risks, please speak with the staff at OPICA. OPICA has resource information for professionals who can come to your home and provide a risk assessment and offer suggestions.