If you are an older adult, the New York Presbyterian Hospital offers these suggestions on how you can stay safe and healthy...

Get a flu shot if it’s available in your area. Flu season runs from mid-October to mid-March. Flu can be fatal-and older adults are at particular risk.

Ask your doctor about a vaccine that protects against pneumonia.

Check the lighting in your home. Make sure there are no major lighting contrasts from one room to another, because older people have difficulty adjusting to changes in light. High contrasts in lighting can increase the risk of slips and falls. Also, use night lights and tape extension cords to the floor so they’re not loose.

Check the rugs to make sure they’re not wrinkled or torn, which could pose a tripping hazard. Place padding or special tape under rugs to prevent them from sliding.

Place anti-slip mats inside and outside your bathtub. Grab bars inside the tub are also helpful. Always check the temperature of the water before you get into the tub.

Exercise-in the colder months, indoors if possible. Avoid strenuous exercise, such as shoveling snow.

Maintain a healthy diet, and drink at least four or five glasses of water every day.

Make sure smoke alarms are working. If you live in your own house, rather than an apartment, you should also have carbon monoxide alarms.

Wear proper footwear. In winter, comfortable shoes with anti-slip soles will help you get around on icy streets.

Get a programmable phone and enter emergency numbers. A personal emergency response system can be worn around your neck or on bracelet to allow you to summon help easily.

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control has additional information about older adults and injuries at www.cdc.gov/ncipc.

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