If your elderly loved one is one of the 90% of adults over age 65 who decides to remain at home throughout aging, there are various considerations to assure the senior’s comfort, independence, and most importantly, safety.
It’s a popular assumption that if the older adult stays at home, specifically if she’s lived there for a number of years, naturally the person will be safe. She fully knows every nook and cranny of the home: that one creaky board in the hallway, the sharp corners of the coffee table to avoid, and the path from her bed to the bathroom like the back of her hand. Nevertheless, falls in the home happen more often for seniors than in any other location, often leading to serious injury or even death.
At Live Free Home Health Care, providers of the expert Bristol home health services and senior care in the surrounding communities, we’re devoted to making sure that older individuals remain safe at home, and have supplied the room-by-room fall prevention suggestions below to help families ensure the safety of their loved ones. Walk with us through each room of the home to determine what alterations may be required in your senior loved one’s home.
Entryway: Falls are common at the entryway to seniors’ homes. Wet or icy walkways and stairs make walking areas slick, and hands full of packages, bags, a purse, etc. make it difficult to grasp handrails. First, make sure that appropriate handrails are in place, along both sides of stairs, and an absorbent door mat is in front of the door. A small table set near the door allows for possessions to be set down as the door is unlocked and shoes are wiped dry. Nonslip material placed inside the doorway is also beneficial for lowering the risk of falling when coming into the home.
Family/Living Room: Tripping hazards can be abundantly prevalent in general living spaces. First, get rid of any throw rugs and confirm that carpeting is secure. Clear away all clutter, cords, low furniture, etc. Also ensure that there’s enough space between furniture to maneuver a walker or wheelchair safely.
Kitchen: Evaluate storage areas that are above the senior’s waist, and reorganize so that all heavy and/or highly used objects are stored in a more easily accessible place. It’s also important to ensure that the kitchen floor stays clean and dry at all times, and again, that all throw rugs and any other tripping hazards are eliminated.
Bathroom: Most senior falls take place in the bathroom, so pay extra close attention to any risks you discover, and take time to make some easy modifications to promote fall prevention and keep your older loved one safe. Install grab bars beside the toilet and tub/shower, add non-slip strips to the tub/shower, replace the standard toilet seat with a raised one, and contemplate a shower seat and handheld shower head for the senior. And always make sure the floor stays clean and dry.
Did you know the in-home care professionals at Live Free Home Health Care are available to provide a personalized fall prevention assessment in your senior loved one’s home, in addition to providing the highest quality Bristol home health care and senior care in nearby areas? Contact us any time at 603-217-0149 to request a free in-home consultation to learn more tips for keeping your senior loved one safe with the assistance of our highly skilled caregiving team. Visit our service area page for a full list of the towns where we offer care.