Nearly two-million older individuals in the United States visit emergency rooms each year to receive treatment for fall-related injuries. Debilitating hip fractures happen frequently, but that’s not the whole story – terrible back injuries and fractures to hands, feet ankles and other parts of the body happen with shocking regularity among the senior community. One out of every three seniors experiences a fall each year, and the risk of falling rises with age.
Thankfully, simple steps can be taken to ensure that seniors seriously minimize the risk of falling at home.
Read on for nine tips that will improve the safety of your senior’s home and reduce the risk of falls considerably!
This one might seem obvious, but scan the home with fresh eyes – you might be surprised by what you find cluttering walking areas.
Arrange Furniture Properly
Does the arrangement of furniture and other items create a challenge for walking within the senior’s home? Rearrange items so that the space flows and fewer moves need to be made to get from one place to another.
Secure Carpets and Rugs
Loose carpeting and slippery rugs are real dangers for anyone, but especially dangerous for seniors. If these items cannot be secured properly, it’s time to reconsider whether they’re actually needed in the home.
Ensure Good Lighting
Many falls happen because people cannot see where they’re going. With good light, the risk of falling is reduced significantly.
Clean Spills Immediately
Some surfaces become slippery and dangerous when spills occur. Sometimes slip-and-fall incidents can occur even if a spill has been wiped up, which is why areas need to be cleaned thoroughly before normal traffic can resume.
Install Grab Bars in Bathrooms
Bathrooms are full of slippery surfaces and tight corners. What’s more, some tubs and showers require seniors to strain themselves physically just to use them. Installing grab bars provides seniors with additional points of contact for their bodies, making falls much less likely to happen.
Install Hand Rails Along Stairs and Walkways
Having an extra point of contact is not just useful in the bathroom; it can also come in handy anywhere where seniors move around the home. Stairs are particularly tricky, so the installation of high-quality handrails can provide confidence and stability.
Use Night Lights
Night lights can transform frightening nighttime trips to the bathroom or kitchen into easy, well-lit strolls through the home. With energy-efficient LED lights now available everywhere, there’s really no excuse to avoid using these helpful items.
Combating Old Man Winter
Slips and falls increase among seniors during the winter months because of the presence of ice and numerous slick surfaces. Thankfully, the application of salt and the diligent removal of snow can leave surfaces just as safe as they would be in the summer. Make sure shovels and containers of ice-melting salt are always on hand, not for your senior to use, but for you or caregivers to use in case of bad winter weather!
For more information …
For more information on “fall-proofing” your home, contact your Always Best Care representative toll-free at 1-855-470-CARE (2273). Also be sure to visit our website at www.alwaysbestcare.com.