Did you know that every eleven seconds, a senior falls and sustains an injury that merits a visit to the ER? Falls are the leading cause of injury and fatality among the over-65 population, and they are often very preventable. Take some steps to make your home safer, particularly for seniors.
Improve lighting and illuminate the home. Poor lighting is one of the main causes of falling in the home, so light things up. Invest in long-lasting LED bulbs to prevent burn-out and to provide plenty of soft-white illumination throughout the home.
Watch the ledges and thresholds. Address ledges and thresholds, between rooms and in doorways, to keep seniors from tripping. Your contractor may be able to remove or replace thresholds that present fall risk.
Be proactive about the bathroom. It seems that bathrooms are the biggest problem area and slippery-surfaces require extra-precautions. Install grab bars in the shower and toilet.
Clean up the clutter. It is far too easy to trip-over clutter and belongings that are on the floor or that crowd living spaces. To make the home safer, you must first clear any clutter that could cause a problem later.
Remove and get rid of rugs. Check the floors for loose tiles, frayed linoleum, or tears that could cause a senior to trip. Also, remove small area rugs; they are a major fall hazard. Don't leave bath mats or other hazards on the floor, either.
Does it fit right? Assess the senior's shoes and clothing for the right fit; clothing that is too-loose can fetch and cause a fall. Shoes should not be too big or have long laces that could also present issues; know that if a senior loses weight, it is possible that their feet will also shrink. This could result in shoes that are a bit too big and that cause seniors to stumble and fall.
Take it outside. Make the home's exteriors as safe as the interiors with railings or poles to provide support when outside, on decks, or porches. These can be purchased through most medical suppliers and installed quite easily.
Need a little more assistance or support? Talk to your provider about medical aids and devices that may make the home more accessible, as well as safer overall.
Falls pose significant harm to seniors and the injuries sustain can be life-threatening. Take steps to ensure safety for you – or your senior – and to prevent taking a nasty fall around the home. For more information, contact your local senior assisted care center.