It’s Squirrel Awareness Month, and even though that may seem a bit humorous, you may be wondering what it has to do with senior home safety. Not to be confused with Squirrel Appreciation Day, Squirrel Awareness Month can give us an opportunity to take a moment and be a bit more aware of these furry rodents that scurry around the yard, seeking out acorns and other nuts to store for the winter. Forget the fact that they will probably forget where most of their nut stashes are by the time the end of winter is upon us, they are going to be frantically moving about, collecting their stash, and getting ready for the winter.
So what does this have to do with senior home safety? It has to do with the familiarity and comfort that squirrels now have being around people throughout the country. For the most part, squirrels are used to seeing human beings wandering around their domain these days. They are not too startled or scared of us. Also, with more houses being built in rural settings, we are encroaching on their natural habitat.
So when we step outside from the house, we may see a number of them close to the house, especially if there are trees close by. What happens if you are startled by a squirrel when you step out of the house? That all depends on whether there are any steps, any other furniture or obstacles, or anything that could pose a risk to someone walking out onto a patio or steps.
If your elderly loved one has a little bit of trouble walking and maybe they need a cane or walker, if a squirrel startles them, it could cause them to jerk a bit, which can cause them to become off balanced and fall.
So, as you can see, even though we might not think of squirrels being any kind of threat to us, their mere presence can pose a number of potential problems for elderly individuals. Make sure that you are aware of the activities of squirrels around your home or your loved one’s home. If they tend to hang close to the house during the day, step outside first or be there to support your loved one.
It may seem like a simple thing and something to not worry too much about, but when it comes down to it, thinking about the little things is what helps to provide the best senior home safety.