Have you ever seen a comedy that involved a man or woman accidentally stepping on a banana peel and staging an elaborate, exaggerated fall? Perhaps it’s funny on TV, but elderly falls are certainly no laughing matter. As a matter of fact, falls are the top cause of both serious injury and death in the elderly, with millions of older adults falling every year. And considering the largest percentage of senior falls occur right around the home, it’s important to go through your older loved ones’ home environment with a fine tooth comb to seek out, and get rid of, fall hazards.
Hearts at Home, professional providers of in-home care in Kansas City, provides the following recommended fall risk assessment to help:
- Investigate every room of the older person’s home from the senior’s point of view. Consider trying to steer a walker or wheelchair along pathways to different high-use objects: the TV set, refrigerator, kitchen cabinets, lamps, etc. Is there sufficient space to get to these destinations without running into obstacles? Are there any cords, throw rugs, or other inconspicuous objects on the floor that might be difficult to see and/or wheel or step over?
- Check lighting sources and levels of lighting all throughout the senior’s home. Poor lighting, especially from the bedroom to the bathroom, when evening trips are likely, is a major cause of elderly falls. Ensure nightlights or other sources of light are in place in areas the senior may frequent after dark, and that the maximum recommended wattage bulbs are utilized in all light sources.
- Take extra precautions in bathrooms and stairways. If the senior uses a staircase, either inside or outside of the home, it’s crucial to be sure that handrails run along both sides of the stairs, and that there’s plenty of light at both the top and bottom of the stairs. Using contrasting colors on the stairs can also help increase visibility. In the bathroom, install grab bars, handrails, and non-slip materials in and around the tub, sink and toilet, and be sure that floors are kept dry and clean all the time.
For even more senior health tips and home safety recommendations to avoid elderly falls, contact Hearts at Home In-Home Care. Our senior in-home care in Kansas City can include a home fall risk assessment to establish the best ways to keep your older loved one safe. In addition, we’re here to assist with ambulation and with other tasks around the home, such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry, alleviating fall risks even further and providing families with peace of mind in knowing their senior loved one is safe and well cared for.
Call us any time at 913-440-4209 to start improving quality of life and increasing safety for your senior loved one!