If your elderly loved one is one of the 90% of seniors over age 65 who decides to stay at home throughout aging, there are a number of considerations to ensure the senior’s comfort, independence, and most importantly, safety.
It’s a widespread assumption that if the older person remains at home, specifically if she’s been living there for a number of years, of course the person will be safe. She is fully aware of 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 restroom like the back of her hand. Yet falls in the home occur more often for seniors than in any other environment, often leading to serious injury or even death.
At Hearts at Home, providers of the very best in home care Overland Park has to offer, we’re dedicated to ensuring that older adults continue to be safe at home, and have supplied the room-by-room fall prevention guidelines below to help families ensure the safety of their loved ones. Walk with us through each room of the home to determine what modifications may be necessary in your senior loved one’s home.
Entryway: Falls are prevalent at the entryway to seniors’ homes. Wet or icy walkways and stairs make walking areas slippery, and hands full of packages, bags, a purse, etc. make it difficult 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 possessions to be set down as the door is unlocked and shoes are wiped dry. Non-slip material placed inside the entryway is also helpful for lowering the risk of a fall when stepping into the home.
Family/Living Room: Tripping hazards can be extremely common in general living spaces. First, take away any throw rugs and ensure carpeting is secure. Remove all clutter, cords, low furniture, etc. Also ensure that there’s adequate space between furniture to operate a walker or wheelchair safely.
Kitchen: Check storage areas that are higher than the senior’s waistline, and rearrange so that all heavy and/or highly used objects are stored in a more easily accessible spot. 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 happen in the bathroom, so pay extra close attention to any concerns you encounter, and take time to make some easy modifications to promote fall prevention and keep your senior 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 think about a shower seat and handheld shower head for the senior. And always be sure the floor stays clean and dry.
Did you know the in-home care professionals at Hearts at Home are available to provide a personalized fall prevention assessment in your senior loved one’s home, in addition to providing the highly skilled in home care Overland Park seniors need? Contact us any time at 913-440-4209 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.