We’ve all seen comedy shows that involved a person stepping on a banana peel and staging an elaborate, exaggerated fall – but senior falls are undoubtedly no laughing matter. The truth is, falls are the #1 cause of both extreme injury and death in seniors, with millions of seniors falling each and every year. And as the vast majority of elderly falls occur right inside the home, it’s essential to go through your senior loved ones’ home environment with a fine tooth comb to take all necessary fall precautions to reduce the chance of a fall.
Grace Home Care, professional providers of in-home senior care in Topeka, provides the following recommendations to get you started:
- Explore every room of the home from the viewpoint of an older adult. Imagine trying to steer a wheelchair or walker through paths to different high-use objects: the TV set, fridge, table lamps, etc. Is there adequate space to reach these destinations without bumping into obstructions? Are there cords, throw rugs, or other inconspicuous objects on the floor that could be difficult to notice and/or step/wheel across?
- Check lighting sources and levels of lighting all through the home. Inadequate lighting, specifically from the bedroom to the bathroom, when evening trips are frequent, is a leading contributor to falls in the elderly. Ensure that nightlights or other light sources are in place in locations the senior might frequent after dark, and that the highest recommended wattage bulbs are used in all lighting sources.
- Take extra fall precautions in bathrooms and stairways. If the individual uses a staircase, either inside or outside of the home, it’s imperative to make sure that handrails are placed along both sides of the stairs, and that there is plenty of light at both the top and bottom of the stairs. Use of contrasting colors on the stairs can also help improve visibility. In the bathroom, install grab bars, handrails, and non-slip materials in and around the bathtub, sink and toilet, and be sure that floors are kept clean and dry all the time.
For additional home safety and family caregiving recommendations, including fall precautions to implement, contact Grace Home Care. Our senior in-home care in Topeka can include a home safety evaluation to establish the best ways to keep your older loved one safe. In addition, we’re on hand to help with ambulation and with other tasks around the home, such as cooking, cleaning, and pet care, alleviating fall risks even further and providing families with peace of mind in knowing their senior loved one is safe and well cared for.
Contact us any time at 785.286.CARE to begin improving quality of life and enhancing safety for your precious senior loved one!