Falling can be painful, but for seniors, the results can be devastating, including hip fractures, which can result in a broad range of health concerns. As many as 25% of all older adults who experience a fractured hip lose their lives within six months of the injury. As disturbing as this statistic is, it’s important to know that there are steps that can be taken to reduce fall risk and to prevent serious injuries at home.
Making a few simple modifications to your loved one’s home can make a world of difference in enhancing safety. Below are some easy home alteration recommendations from our home health experts:
- Replace light bulbs throughout the home on a routine basis to ensure there is sufficient lighting in the senior’s home
- Make use of nightlights or motion detector lights to enhance visibility at night
- Ensure no electrical cords are stretched across walking areas
- Use low pile carpet or slip-proof tile
- Take out all throw rugs, or ensure they are firmly secured with non-slip tape
- Use contrasting colors for paint, furniture and carpeting to clarify changes in surface types or levels
- Never use floor polish or wax
- Install grab bars around the tub and beside the toilet, making sure they are strong enough to support an adult’s full weight
- Place slip-proof strips or mats in and around the tub
- Purchase a wall-mounted liquid soap dispenser for the shower wall
- Use a portable, hand-held shower head
- Add a padded shower or bath seat
Additionally, there are a number of products available to assist with reducing fall risk at home, such as:
- Door Alarms: If the senior has a tendency to wander, especially at night, door alarms will let you or the senior’s caregiver know that he or she is moving about and could be in danger.
- Monitoring Systems: Monitoring systems are an efficient way to track a senior’s movements in the home. Sensors are positioned throughout the home, and some even include calling capabilities so the older adult can alert a caregiver if a fall or other emergency has occurred.
- Safer Footwear: Fall management footwear features rubber grips on the bottom to prevent slipping, and are great for older adults who are at a heightened risk for falls. You can even find waterproof, slip-resistant socks that can be worn in the tub or shower.
- Bedrails: Many falls occur during the night as seniors move around in their sleep or get up to go to a different room. Bedrails can prevent seniors from falling out of bed and also provide something to hold onto when standing up to get out of bed.
With so many seniors choosing to age in place at home instead of moving to an assisted living facility, it’s crucial to make the home as safe as possible. Harmony Home Health & Hospice, the leaders in Salt Lake City in-home care and care in the surrounding areas, can help with professional in-home care services to reduce fall risk and enhance senior safety. Call us at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE (1-877-463-3322) today!