Falls are a major home safety risk, and one that makes it difficult for our loved ones to stay independent in their homes. As we age, our bones break more easily and heal more slowly. Our vision may weaken; we may even lose some of our peripheral vision and depth perception. The good news is that we can do a few simple things to help our loved ones stay in their homes, assisting them in their desire to stay independent and healthy. Some safety issues and solutions our Care Managers want to share include:
Identify any rugs that slide or have upturned corners and remove them
Be aware of steps and uneven walkways, build a ramp or install a handrail
Identify hard, raised surfaces and if not easily removed, pad edges and surfaces well
Put up grab bars in the bathroom, especially at the toilet and shower. Other bath tips include installing a hand-held shower nozzle, a shower chair and non-slip mat.
Install night lights in areas that your loved one uses at night, especially the bedroom, hallway and bathroom
Remove or relocate coffee tables and other low-lying décor. (Remember we may lose peripheral vision as we age and not see low lying objects in front of us.) If items cannot be removed completely, move out of the traffic pattern or use end tables.
Place a sturdy chair in the bedroom to assist with dressing
Wear shoes inside and out and avoid walking barefoot or in slippery socks
Rearrange kitchen and remove stepstools; keeping items at eye and waist level. This keeps your loved one from reaching above their heads or bending over to retrieve items
Avoid beds or any furniture that is too high or too low, bed should be 20 – 23” high from the floor to top of mattress. (Feet need to touch the floor when sitting on the bed.)
Maintain clear, uncluttered walkways
Consider a personal electronic device. This does not prevent falls, but alerts someone in time of need and provides “peace of mind”
Just a few simple home safety tips can help us honor our loved ones’ wishes, keeping them independent in their homes for as long as possible! If you have a safety tip to add, please share your comment with us...