Creating a safe home environment is the best way for seniors to avoid having to move from their homes. Injuries from falls account for 40% of all nursing home admissions. Falls are the leading cause of accidental death in the senior population! While this and other fall statistics are frightening, the good news is that most falls can be prevented with some straightforward and simple precautions. Perform a home safety assessment to improve lighting, flooring, and furniture placement.
Do you have:
Throw rugs pose a tripping hazard. They should be tacked down or removed.
Stairs without rails?
Use hand rails to go up and down stairs.
Clutter in your walking space?
Clutter such as shoes, electrical cords and magazines are a safety hazard. Keep pathways clear. This is particularly important at night en route to the bathroom.
Dark hallways or stairwells?
Good lighting can reduce the chance of falling. Consider adding night-lights where overhead lighting is lacking. Add bright tape strips to the edge of each stair. Always keep a charged flashlight near your bed for emergencies. A night-light in the bathroom can also make night trips to the bathroom safer. Anything that can be done to mitigate the risk of a fall should be considered, including bathroom grab bars, chair lifts and other home modifications.
A Personal Emergency Response System?
When an elderly person falls, they frequently cannot get upon their own or get to a phone. A personal help button is a great solution. We typically have free activation or discount coupons in our office from some of the leading system providers.
Also, it’s a good idea to have emergency contact information and a list of prescribed medications readily available for emergency personnel.
A more comprehensive list of safety precautions, and a full safety checklist are available from our office.