Do you want to avoid hospitalizations for your senior loved one? We are going to look at how to prevent falls in the home as this is one of the top 10 things that lead to hospitalizations or even death among seniors. Here are a handful of suggestions:
1. Eliminate trip hazards within the home
Although rugs look beautiful in a home environment they can be dangerous, particularly for seniors. Seniors can easily trip on them if they’re walking to and from a specific location within the home. It’s best, even though they look pretty, to remove them from those environments.
2. Remove clutter
Depending upon your home environment, sometimes clutter can build up and we don’t even realize that it’s there. Make sure that you’re picking up after yourself and eliminating little hazards that could help prevent a fall.
3. Be mindful of pets
I just recently purchased a dog named Kinley and she is the cutest puppy ever. The only issue is she tends to go around all of our family members’ feet from time to time. Although we love having her, cuddling with her, and sharing a lot of moments with her, we want to make sure that she’s far enough away from us so she isn’t going to be a risk for us tripping when we’re walking from room to room. It’s the same for your loved one. Make sure that the pet is far enough away that it isn’t going to be a tripping hazard when moving around the home.
4. Install grab bars
The bathroom, in particular, is a high risk area for falls to take place. We suggest that you contact a home repair or handyman company to install grab bars in your bathroom. Grab bars next to the toilet are helpful for when getting up and down off of a toilet seat. Also, install grab bars in the shower so there’s something to hold on to and stay safe while bathing. If you need resources to help find a handyman, please contact us and we’d be happy to help you.
5. Observe the flow of the home
Although it seems simple, it is important to make sure that there are no obstructions in the main pathways of the home. It could be as simple as a desk in a hallway that really shouldn’t be there. Make sure that all of the areas where you are going to be walking the most are clear. Sometimes it’s just walking around your home and seeing what your environment looks like and identifying areas where things could be removed or rearranged.
6. Move carefully within your home and consider an assisted device
We have clients who use walkers and canes when they are moving throughout their home environment. These products are safe for seniors to use and help secure balance when the individual is up walking around. Talk to a doctor and see if a walker or cane could be helpful.
7. Be sure to wear proper clothing
Make sure that your clothes fit the appropriate way. Yes, baggy, loose-fitting clothes are comfortable, but they could be a hazard when walking. Specifically, make sure pant legs aren’t too long as they could be a surprise tripping hazard.
8. Be sure to wear proper footwear
If shoes are being worn inside the home, make sure they have the proper tread underneath for better traction and grip. If only socks are being worn, we recommend socks with rubber gripping on the bottom. I have a daughter who just wears regular socks around our hardwood floors and I can’t tell you how many times she has taken a corner and accidentally slipped and fallen on the ground. So we have given her socks with the rubber gripping on the bottom and recommend them for everyone – no matter their age!
9. Be sure to have proper lighting in each and every room
I personally am a fan of dimmer lights. If you asked my wife she would tell you that I love a dimly lit room. However, when it comes to a senior in their home, you want to make sure that the lighting is much brighter. For obvious reasons, if you have plenty of light within the room you can see much better than if the lights dimmed down all the way, or if there’s just one lamp turned on. Be sure that the room is properly lit and you shouldn’t have a problem.
10. Hiring outside help like a home care agency
If your loved one is struggling or you feel that they are at a higher risk for any of the nine items mentioned above, always look for outside help. There are people and companies out there like ours that are here to help make sure the home environment is safe.
All you have to do is pick up the phone and call a home care company who could be a proper resource for keeping a safe home environment. If you’d like to learn more about working with Senior1Care for yourself or a loved one, click here for an overview of our services. To continue the conversation and get answers to your specific questions, call the Senior1Care office closest to you.
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