For younger adults, falling might result in a bruise, skinned knee, or just injured pride. But for seniors, a fall can cause serious injury. Falls are the leading cause of head trauma, hip fractures, and even death from injury. And they’re much more prevalent in seniors – 25% more likely in those age 65 and older.
The reasons behind this increased risk are as varied as the seniors themselves, but typically include factors such as poor vision, decreased strength, balance, flexibility and endurance, and side effects from medications.
One key way to prevent senior falls is to take some simple steps to modify the home environment, where most falls occur. The Albany home care professionals at Innovative Senior Solutions suggest the following room-by-room tips:
In the kitchen…
- Store frequently-used items in easy-to-reach locations, preventing the need to bend down or stretch up as much as possible.
- Keep the floor clean and dry, making sure to clear away any spills immediately.
- Keep the room free of clutter, particularly in high traffic areas.
- Make sure chairs are always pushed in underneath the table.
In the bathroom…
- Add secure grab bars to the bath and shower walls and beside the toilet.
- Utilize a shower chair and handheld shower head.
- Place non-slip treads in the tub/shower.
- Make sure any bath mats are secured to the floor with double-sided carpet tape.
- Ensure floors are clean and dry.
In the living/family/bed rooms…
- Allow sufficient space between furnishings to move around, ensuring plenty of room for a walker if needed.
- Keep rooms well lit, including night lights in the bedroom, bathroom, hallways and kitchen.
- Remove any clutter, throw rugs, extension cords, etc. from floors throughout the home.
- If there are stairways in the home, make sure there are handrails on both sides of the stairs. It’s also a good idea to install a chair lift for those with mobility issues.
For more tips to prevent senior falls and ensure your senior loved one remains safe, comfortable and thriving at home, or to learn more about our specialized Albany home care services, adult day health centers, or personal care homes for seniors, contact us any time at 229-928-3673. Whether the need is for just a little assistance around the house, full-time, live-in care, or anything in between, we’re here to help with personalized care to improve quality of life and help older adults thrive.