According to the CDC, one in three seniors experiences a fall. Of those that fall, 20 percent have a serious injury, such as a broken bone or head trauma. Therefore, preventing falls in seniors is extremely important. Although this is a topic we have discussed in the past, it is important enough to review again, as it affects so many people. Consider the following ways to make the home of your senior loved one safe.
Stairways are dangerous because a fall can easily cause serious injury. Implement these tips to make the stairway safe.
- Install handrails on both sides of the stairs. Most stairways only have handrails on one side.
- Be sure the handrails are sturdy. Tighten down any that are wobbly.
- Clear the stairway of all clutter. No items should be stored on the stairs.
- Check that the lighting is adequate, so the stairs can be seen when it is dark outside.
- Take the above steps for all stairways, including those outside that are used to enter the house.
Falls in a bathroom are so dangerous because of all the hard surfaces. The tile floors and fixtures have no give and the edges of the sink and tub can cause injury. A few changes will make the bathroom much safer.
- Install a night light for nighttime trips to the bathroom.
- Install grab bars by the toilet and tub.
- Ensure the toilet seat is at the right height. Consider buying an elevated seat if the existing seat is too low.
- Remove trip hazards such as loose carpets, and install non-skid mats.
A dark, cluttered home is a trip hazard. Consider the following tips to reduce the risk in the living area.
- Remove any loose carpeting.
- If lighting is not adequate, install new lighting. It is difficult to avoid tripping on items you cannot see. Bright light is beneficial.
- Make sure wires do not run along walkways. Relocate wires to the edges of the room and tack them along the walls.
- Remove clutter from rooms and walkways. If you must, put items in storage. Clear paths are critical.
If you have an elderly loved one living at home, it is important to take steps to reduce the risk of falls. Implementing the above safety tips will help keep your loved one from being injured. For additional information on preventing senior falls, check out our handout and our resource page.
David York Agency can help you elder-proof your home. For more information about David York Agency’s services and their qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need.