The Monsters Are Real: Are these fall hazards lurking in your home?
Every year, one in four seniors experience a fall. The scariest part of this statistic is that most of the falls are preventable. What can you do to prevent keep this monstrous event from happening to you or loved one? Make sure your home environment is safe.
Fall Hazards and the Home
Home is where we spend a majority of our time, and most think of home as a safe and nurturing place to relax, unwind, and recharge. For seniors, a home can have many trip hazards that could lead to serious injuries including hip fractures and head injuries. These falls are serious and could be fatal.
Home safety for seniors is important, but can often times seem overwhelming to get started fall-proofing your house. Below are tips and tricks to help you get started making your home a safer place.
Floors Are the Foundations of Fall Prevention
The best place to start looking for fall hazards is right below your feet, the floor. Remove any throw rugs as they pose a challenge for seniors with ambulation issues or for seniors with assistive walking devices like a walker or rollator.
For further fall prevention, make sure all pathways in the house are clear of furniture and wires from telephones, lamps, or other electronic devices. Also, make sure that there are no newspapers, books, towels, blankets, or shoes in the middle of pathways.
Stairs and Steps: Fall Hazards a Step Away
Stairs in their own right are a huge hazard for seniors. It’s best for seniors to live in home with no, or very few stairs. However, this is not always possible. In which case, stairs should be kept clean and free of trip hazards like books, clothes, shoes or papers.
It is important that stairs and hallways be well lit and there be a handrail installed on the stairs. Any loose carpeting or wood should be fixed. Also, if stairs are uncarpeted, consider installing nonslip carpet or rubber treads.
Other Fall Hazards to Consider
While keeping stairs and floors clear are the major fall prevention tactics to consider when looking at your home, there are a few other things you can do to prevent falls. This includes installing grab bars in bathrooms by the toilet and in the tub, installing non-slip bathmats in the shower tub, and keeping all rooms of the house well lit.
Seniors should also take some personal preventative measures to ensure their safety. Wearing shoes both inside the house and out can provide much needed stability. Exercise focusing on balance and flexibility can reduce the likelihood of falls. And last, but most importantly, everyone should take their time when moving about the house or when going from sitting to standing.
When we are young, falls are usually no big deal. We may end up with a few bumps and scraps. Falls for seniors can be quite traumatic and even life-threatening. Keeping the home safe will help keep seniors living at home for as long as possible.
At Senior LIFE, we share this goal with our senior members. The goal of the LIFE Program is keep seniors living at home and in the community for as long as possible. Nobody wants to live in a nursing home if they have the choice to stay at home and independent.
The Senior LIFE Programs focuses on providing health and supportive services to seniors who qualify in their homes. Senior LIFE members have access to professional team of doctors, nurses, social workers, physical and speech therapists, and other medically necessary healthcare providers. Senior LIFE members also have access to the LIFE Health and Wellness Center where they can go visit with friends, have a hot meal, receive physical therapy, and visit with their doctor or nurse.
Categories: Aging At Home