We’ve all seen comedy shows that involved a person accidentally stepping on a banana peel and staging an exaggerated, elaborate fall – but senior falls are undeniably no laughing matter. Indeed, falls are the leading cause of both serious injury and death in older adults, with tens of millions of the elderly falling each year. And as the largest percentage of elderly falls occur right at home, it’s vital to go through your older loved one’s home environment from top to bottom to find, and remove, fall risks.
Live Free Home Health Care, providers of professional New Hampshire home care, offers the following guidelines to help with preventing falls:
- Take a look at every room of the senior’s home from the point of view of an elderly person. Consider trying to navigate a walker or wheelchair through paths to different high-use points of interest: the television, refrigerator, table lamps, etc. Is there plenty of space to get to these destinations without running into obstacles? Are there any cords, throw rugs, or other inconspicuous objects on the floor that might be difficult to notice and/or step/wheel over?
- Check lighting sources and wattage levels throughout the older person’s home. Insufficient lighting, specifically from the bedroom to the bathroom, when nighttime trips are common, is a major contributor of senior falls. Make certain nightlights or other light sources are in place throughout areas the senior may frequent after dark, and that the maximum recommended wattage bulbs are utilized in all lighting sources.
- Take extra steps for preventing falls in bathrooms and stairways. If the older adult uses a staircase, either inside or outside of the home, it’s imperative to ensure that handrails run along both sides of the stairs, and that there’s an adequate amount of light at both the top and bottom of the steps. Utilizing contrasting colors on the stairs can also improve visibility. In the bathroom, install grab bars, handrails, and non-skid materials in and around the tub, sink and toilet, and make sure that floors are kept clean and dry all the time.
For more home care solutions for family caregivers and home safety recommendations for preventing falls, contact Live Free Home Health Care. Our New Hampshire home care services can include a home safety review to identify the best ways to keep your older loved one safe. Additionally, we’re available to help with ambulation and with other tasks around the home, such as preparing meals, light housework, and pet care, alleviating fall risks even further and providing families with peace of mind in knowing their senior loved one is safe and well cared for.
Contact us any time at 603-217-0149 to get started on improving quality of life and maximizing safety for your senior loved one!