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Family Safety For All Generations
My informative friends at UL (Underwriters Laboratories) offer some great content in the way of safety when it comes to your family. Contributed by UL.
What's a person to do when faced with dual responsibilities to their young children and to their elderly parents? For the Sandwich Generation – so-called because they are sandwiched between caring for kids and seniors – the challenges are daunting, and sometimes confusing.
Childcare information is fruitful. But with baby boomers only starting to retire, the topic of elder care is relatively new. Meanwhile, the number of aging parents per worker 45 to 54 years old is expected to double by 2035 to 1.74 parents per worker, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, indicating that more and more adults will be assuming these dual caretaker roles.
“It's stressful,” said Theresa Freeze, who has five children and cares for her 83-year-old mother. “When you have a whole family like this, you really have to consider everyone's welfare. I need to keep the kids' toys out of my mom's way, and I have to be aware that someday my mom might wander into the kitchen and forget that she doesn't cook anymore and burn down the house.”
Fortunately, when it comes to safety, the most basic principles are applicable to everyone, regardless of age, nation or social standing.
“If you make your home safe for children, chances are you're making it safe for adults and the elderly, too,” said John Drengenberg, consumer affairs manager for Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent safety testing organization. “In many cases, there's little cost or time involved, but the benefits – preventing injury or even death – are immeasurable.”
For example, the death rate from unintentional injuries in the home is approximately three times greater for older people than the younger population, according to estimates by the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission (CPSC). Slips and falls are the main source of injury for older people in the home.
Falls also are one of the top three causes of injury sending millions of children to emergency rooms every year, CPSC reported. Preventative measures for both age groups are similar, and many steps are basic precaution. Certainly, a gate for the stairs can keep infants and toddlers from taking a spill, but eliminating cords stretched across walkways and purchasing only rugs with slip-resistant backing will benefit all ages.