One out of every three seniors experiences a fall every year. Falls become more dangerous as we age, with around 20 percent of all injury-related deaths among seniors related to a fall. One out of every five falls causes a serious injury such as a broken bone, head injury, or fractured hip, and falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve the safety of your elderly relative’s home and reduce the chances of a fall. Here are a few suggestions presented by Columbus Home Care Assistance.
Bathrooms can be very dangerous due to slippery, hard surfaces and few objects to grasp onto. Most falls in the bathroom occur while getting into or out of the shower or tub, getting up from the toilet, or attempting to use a counter or towel bar for balance. Improve the bathroom safety with these tips:
- Install grab bars near the toilet and shower or tub. Watch where a loved one normally holds onto when moving in the bathroom and choose the best place to install grab bars.
- Add a shower chair for stability for seniors who have trouble balancing.
- Add nonslip mats to the shower and bathtub along with a nonslip rug outside of the shower to avoid slips on wet tiles or flooring.
- Install a raised toilet seat for seniors who have trouble lowering or raising themselves from a seated position.
These safety tips can reduce the risk of falls and injury in the kitchen:
- Make sure there is sufficient lighting around the work areas and entrances so seniors can avoid bumping into objects and falling at night.
- Keep sharp objects like knives stored properly.
- Wipe up spills immediately.
- Store heavy items in the lowest cupboards and drawers, except those used frequently. Heavy items used often should be left on the counter.
- Keep a fire extinguisher within easy reach in the kitchen.
Around the Home
Your loved one’s home may have other trip hazards. Here are a few general tips for around the house:
- All stairs should be well lit. Consider installing nightlights throughout the home.
- Install solid handrails on both sides of stairways.
- Keep walkways and steps outside the home free of ice, snow, and crumbling concrete.
- Keep shoes, plants, cords, and boxes out of walkways.
- Avoid clutter in bedrooms, hallways, and living rooms.
- Avoid using throw rugs or use rugs with nonskid mats.
- Make sure all cords are hidden behind furniture.
Ensure your senior loved one is safe in the comfort of home with help from Home Care Assistance. Our live-in, hourly, and respite caregivers in Columbus can provide safety monitoring, medication reminders, and mobility support in addition to helping with everyday tasks around the home like cooking and cleaning. For more information, call a friendly Care Manager at (614) 481-8888 and request an in-home consultation.