CAMINO — An estimated 75 million baby boomers in the U.S. began turning 65 at the rate of one every 10 seconds in 2011. They make up 13 percent of the U.S. population.
“Boomers have redefined what a senior is. They are physically active, healthier, focused on their futures with the same passion and energy they had 30 or 40 years ago. Life is good until you talk about seniors and their risk of injury or death due to fire” said Cal Fire Amador-El Dorado-Sacramento Unit Chief Kelly Keenan.
• If you are between the ages of 65 and 74, your risk of dying in a fire is two times that of the general population.
• If you are between the ages of 75 and 84, your risk of dying in a fire is three times that of the general population
• If you are 85 years or older, your risk of dying in a fire is 4.4 times that of the general population.
• In 2007, seniors represented 13 percent of the population but were 30 percent of those were killed in fires.
• As we age our vision, hearing, sense of smell/taste, and even our response to pain changes. We may have mobility challenges, and because of medications our mental and physical abilities can be affected.
THINK about what you are doing. So often we do things by rote or auto pilot; we do it the way we have been doing it for decades or longer. We don’t focus our attention on what we do every day and that is where trouble can occur.
Here are some pointers:
“Taking a minute or two to seriously consider what you are doing, the risks associated with that activity and maybe changing the way you do it, can be lifesaving,” Keenan said. “Finding a fresh approach to an old habit may not only make that activity safer, but it may also breathe some new life into something you took for granted. Seniors are a treasured population and we need to help keep them safe. With a little time and energy we can all make sure that is a reality.”