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Have you done everything you can to make sure you and your home are safe and sound? Use the following checklist to see if there’s more you can do.
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Don’t leave your home looking unoccupied. Don’t announce trips away from home on social media. Arrange to have newspaper deliveries stopped while you’re away, and have someone pick up the mail and mow the lawn (or shovel the snow).
Protect your property and your assets. Sign a proxy giving a person you trust the power to make decisions on your behalf regarding your assets and your healthcare when necessary. Have a will drawn up, and don’t keep large sums of cash in your home.
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Prevent falls. Make sure all your rooms and stairways are well lit and that things aren’t left lying around on the floor. Remove area rugs and use assistive devices (a cane and grab bars in the bathroom).
Secure your home. Have an alarm system and good locks installed, and always lock your doors. Install a peephole so you can see your visitors without being seen before opening the door.
Manage your medications appropriately. Clean out your medicine cabinet regularly. Never take more than the prescribed dose of a medication, and don’t take any over- the-counter drugs or natural products before talking to your doctor or pharmacist. When having a prescription filled, ask about possible side effects. Use a pill organizer to stay on track with doses.
Be prepared for emergencies such as a fall or an illness. Keep a list of emergency numbers in a conspicuous place. Make a list of people to contact in case you need help, especially people who are close by or are readily available. Find out about emergency response systems such as wearable alert buttons.
Use all necessary assistive devices. Look into getting a walker, a large-keypad phone, a doorbell indicator light, and a cell phone that you can keep with you at all times. Use a calendar and checklists to help you remember important things and appointments.
Think “fire safety.” Install a smoke detector on each floor and near all the bedrooms. Don’t leave a hot stove unattended. Don’t smoke in bed, and avoid using candles.
Be prudent when driving. Lock car doors even when you’re in the car. Park in well-lit parking lots, and take out your keys in advance so you can get into the house or car quickly. Avoid driving for long periods of time or when visibility is poor.
Lastly, let family members know where you are going whenever you travel, and leave a key to your home with someone you trust. This person’s help could turn out to be invaluable one day.
Prevent fraud. Check that the person calling you on the phone is who they claim to be before sending them money. Don’t sign a contract without having it checked by a lawyer. Never lend your credit card or give out personal information (address, date of birth, SIN, credit card number, etc.) over the Internet or phone, unless it was you who initiated the call to a confirmed number at your financial institution.
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