As an older person, you may have different product needs to others. Changes that can occur with ageing may also affect your ability to use products safely. As people age, they may experience issues with abilities such as:
sensory awareness (hearing, vision, etc.)
These issues can result in increased product hazards, which can make certain tasks—even everyday actions—more challenging for you.
Research has found that most injuries to older people happen while they’re at home. This is not an inevitable part of the ageing process. According to the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) there are many reasons why such injuries occur. You can read Consumer product related injuries in older persons, Report 162 at the MUARC website.
As you grow older it is important to consider your safety needs and ensure that you can use furniture, flooring and other goods in your home safely.
A number of retired older people take up volunteer work or look after their grandchildren. Those who care for children, even on a part-time basis, need to be aware of safety aspects relating to infant and nursery products, as well as to toys. Many of these products have mandatory safety standards, and most of the regulations are relatively new.
People who are retired or semi-retired may also take on home improvement tasks as they find more time. Do-it-yourself (DIY) tasks carry their own safety risks. It is wise for older people to be extra cautious when doing DIY jobs in and around the house, regardless of how much experience they have. For example, older men tend to suffer ladder-related injuries more than others. Many of these victims are skilled handymen who have simply become complacent.
When out of the house, some older people use mobility scooters to get around. There are safety risks involved in using these vehicles, so it is important for users to choose the right ones and ride in them safely.
Using products safely at home and when out and about can help you avoid injuries and enjoy this stage of your life. This page provides links to information that can help you achieve this safety.