If your elderly loved one is among the 90% of seniors who decide to remain at home throughout aging, there are numerous factors to consider to make sure the senior is comfortable, independent, and most importantly, safe.
It’s a prevalent assumption that if the older adult remains at home, specifically if she’s lived there for a number of years, of course she will be safe. She knows every nook and cranny of the home: that one creaky board in the hallway, the sharp corners of the coffee table to avoid, and the path from her bed to the bathroom like the back of her hand. Nevertheless, falls in the home take place more often for seniors than in any other environment, often causing serious injury or even death.
At Grace Home Care, providers of the trusted respite care Topeka families rely on, we’re devoted to making sure that older individuals remain safe at home, and have supplied the room-by-room fall prevention checklist below to help families ensure the safety of their loved ones. Walk with us through each room of the home to determine what alterations may be required in your senior loved one’s home.
Entryway: Falls are frequent at the entrance to seniors’ homes. Wet or icy sidewalks and stairs make walking areas slick, and hands full of packages, bags, a purse, etc. make it challenging to grasp handrails. First, ensure that appropriate handrails are in place, along both sides of stairs, and an absorbent door mat is in front of the door. A small table placed near the door allows for belongings to be set down as the door is unlocked and shoes are wiped dry. Non-slip material placed inside the doorway is also effective for reducing the risk of a fall when entering the home.
Family/Living Room: Falling hazards can be abundantly prevalent in general living spaces. First, remove any throw rugs and ensure carpeting is secure. Clear away all clutter, cords, low furniture, etc. Also make sure there’s adequate space between furniture to navigate a walker or wheelchair safely.
Kitchen: Evaluate storage areas that are above the senior’s waistline, and rearrange items so that all heavy and/or highly used objects are stored in a more easily accessible location. It’s also vital to make sure that the kitchen floor remains clean and dry at all times, and again, that all throw rugs and any other tripping hazards are eliminated.
Bathroom: Most senior falls occur in the bathroom, so pay extra close attention to any concerns you encounter, and take time to make some simple modifications to promote fall prevention and keep your older loved one safe. Install grab bars beside the toilet and tub/shower, add non-slip strips to the tub/shower, replace the standard toilet seat with a raised one, and give consideration to a shower seat and handheld shower head for the senior. And always be sure the floor remains clean and dry.
Did you know the in-home care professionals at Grace Home Care are available to provide a personalized fall prevention assessment in your senior loved one’s home, in addition to providing the professional respite care Topeka seniors need to stay safe at home? Contact us any time at 785.286.CARE to request a free in-home consultation to learn more tips for keeping your senior loved one safe with the assistance of our highly skilled caregiving team.