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Home Safety Month: Pointers for “aging in place”

June is National Home Safety Month and there’s a buzz around “aging in place,” so we’ve gathered tips and products that can help today’s (stylish) older adults avoid falls and live well at home for years to come. A top home-safety goal: Fall prevention Falls are a growing problem when it comes to home safety, as many older adults opt to live independently at home for as long as possible. “Although many seniors are more active and living longer, more than 1 in 4 report falling,” according to the CDC. “Emergency departments treat over 3 million older Americans for falls each year while direct medical expenses add up to more than $31 billion annually.” (When you join PatientsLikeMe, you can report and track falls as a symptom on your profile and see what others have said about falls and fall prevention here.) Because falls can cause severe injury and loss of independence, the CDC encourages you to talk openly with your healthcare provider(s) about them as soon as possible, even if you don’t get injured. They can do a screening on your future fall risk and help address balance or vision problems, medication side effects and other factors. Preventing falls isn’t the only way you can make …

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Ready as you can be? Disaster preparedness when you’re living with a health condition

The recent string of tragic natural disasters highlights the importance of planning ahead (as much as possible) for managing your medical needs in the wake of a crisis. So we’ve gathered some expert preparation tips and ideas for what to keep in an emergency supply kit. All the victims of these disasters are in our thoughts. If you were affected, see a list of U.S. federal resources here, including the national Disaster Distress Helpline — open 24/7 for people experiencing emotional difficulties after any natural or man-made disaster. Make a plan “You are in the ideal position to plan for your own safety as you best know your abilities and needs during and after an emergency or disaster,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC advises that people with disabilities or special health considerations make plans with the help of family members and/or care partners. The American Public Health Association (APHA) offers these general tips for getting ready for a disaster: Get informed. Know what kinds of disasters can happen in your community, and familiarize yourself with local warning systems, evacuation routes and shelters. If you will need help in a disaster, contact local emergency officials about any assistance they can provide and whether …

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