Wednesday, September 17, 2008



HERE are some tips that I would like to share with my fellow seniors.

When you go to bed, make sure that you have a torch-light within reach. Better still, have it under your pillow. This is necessary because in the middle of the night when nature calls and there is a blackout, you can make your way safely to the toilet.

My friend’s mother became bedridden following an unfortunate incident. One night during a blackout, she headed for the toilet; she swore she knew the way by heart. However, she missed a step and fell down a flight of stairs. A sad price to pay for carelessness.

The other day, my neighbour showed me a bump on her head. She had gone to the toilet in the wee hours of the morning and was too lazy to turn on the light. When she went back to her bed, she thought it was there as she made to sit on it, but landed on the floor instead. For one week, she was in pain because of the fall. So make sure you have a torchlight under your pillow; it is better to be safe than sorry.

I am sure most seniors are pill-poppers. They take pills for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and more. Then there are the numerous supplements like vitamin pills. To make sure that you take your pills diligently, set aside a day in the week and put your daily dosage of pills in pill boxes. You can easily buy these boxes that indicate the days of the week. So fill in your daily supplement for the week. These boxes come in handy wherever you may be, and you will not miss out on any of the pills.

The next thing seniors should do is to get a calendar. On it, write down important days to remember, like anniversaries, birthdays, appointments with the doctor, visits to the dentist, when to pay quit rent, insurance, etc. Place the calendar within reach so that you can be reminded of things that you need to do throughout the year. Being seniors, we can be forgetful, so this is one way to ensure that we remember these important dates.

All seniors should also keep a diary. We should note down things that we have done for the day, for example, paid quit rent, re-sprayed the car, had lunch with a buddy. This is just for reference.

When a friend of mine checked her phone bill, she found an outstanding charge to an unfamiliar number. Nobody in the house admitted to making the call. She looked at her dairy and found that she and her family had gone for a movie that particular day and it was the maid who had made the call. Thanks to the diary, the mystery was solved.

I have a confession to make. I like to hide extra cash or, sometimes, even jewellery. And when I need to use them, I cannot for the life of me remember where I put those things. Then I get a massive headache trying to figure out where I have hidden those things. I turn the house upside down in a vain attempt to look for the missing items.

Of late I have become wiser. I write down in my diary where I put my precious things. So even if I changed the hiding place, I just refer to my diary, and viola they are there.

Most seniors have empty nests. To thwart would-be burglars, keep a spare set of car keys near your bedside. When you hear unfamiliar sounds like someone trying to open the gate or prise open the door, press the car alarm button. Hopefully the thieves will run away when they hear the alarm. There is no guarantee that you will be safe, but some precaution is better than none.

You may find it useful to keep an envelope with cash in your house. Should the robbers surprise you one day, give them the cash. Hopefully it will appease them and they will leave you alone and not harm you. Many of us use credit cards and have very little cash in our wallets. So the robbers may be furious when they find out that you do not have cash with you.

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