Falls are the second-leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths globally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The majority of fatal falls occur in those over the age of 65.
The first fall can drastically alter a senior’s quality of life. Your loved one can lose the independence they’ve come to cherish.
If you are beginning to worry more about your parent’s mobility, see the steps you can take to fall-proof your parent’s home below:
Elderly fall prevention: in pathways, halls, and staircases
Securely fasten the railings and install them on both the top and bottom of the staircase. When carrying something up the stairwell, keep one hand on the handrail and the other on the item you’re carrying. Your bag or other object should not obstruct your view of the stairs.
It’s important to have light switches at both ends of a long hallway, as well as at the top and bottom of the stairs for adequate illumination. Please turn on the lights!
It’s crucial to maintain cleanliness in the areas where you walk. Never leave anything on the steps or the floor, including books, papers, clothing, or shoes.
It is absolutely essential that all carpets be firmly affixed to the floor in order to avoid tripping over them. Anti-slip strips should be installed on all tile and wood floors.
Do not use toss rugs; only use large area rugs.
Elderly fall prevention: in lavatories and cloakrooms
Install grab bars inside and outside of your tub and shower, as well as close to the toilet. Put carpet, non-skid strips, or mats on all areas that could become wet.
Don’t forget to turn on the night lights.
Elderly fall prevention: in the bedrooms (during the night)
The nightlight and light switch should be near your loved ones’ bed. Keep a flashlight nearby in case the power goes out and they need to get out of bed.
Their phone should be within reach while they sleep.
Elderly fall prevention: other residential areas
Keep items that they use on a regular basis within easy reach.
If your loved ones need to reach something that is too high, advise them to use a “reach stick” or ask for help rather than standing on a chair or table. Reach sticks are specialized gripping tools, and are available at many hardware or medical supply stores.
Keep emergency phone numbers in large typeface close to each phone.
If your loved one falls, their doctor may suggest that a nurse, occupational therapist, or physical therapist may come to their home. These medical experts can assess the safety of their home and provide you with recommendations on how to make changes to lower the risk of falls.
Elderly fall prevention: reminders
Remember to keep an eye out for these three items when evaluating your loved ones’ house:
- Light and clutter
- The items you use the most are easily accessible.
Additionally, remember that no matter what your loved ones are doing, they should always have three points of contact. For example, when using the elevator or entering and leaving the shower, they should be in contact with something solid.
If they don’t own their home, discuss these adjustments with their landlord. Do not think that you cannot make the necessary adjustments to avoid falling because your elderly loved ones are renting.
Everyone has a propensity to put things off, especially when we’re trying to stay away from an issue that hasn’t yet emerged. Numerous medical alert systems can detect falls in the house and notify an emergency contact if they do take place.
Want to learn more?
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