In this article:
- House safety
- High risk areas
- Bathroom tips
- Helpful devices
Falls can be a serious risk for seniors, especially when they live alone. As seniors age, they experience issues such as weakness, decreased balance, and impaired sight which can all increase their risk of a fall. And whereas a fall might not be a serious incident for a younger person, falls for seniors can result in broken bones and long recovery periods.
Luckily, there are a number of ways that you can help to prevent falls for your elderly loved one.
5 Tips to Prevent Falls for Seniors
Consider these 5 tips to reduce the risk of your loved one falling while in their home.
Assess Your Loved One’s House for Safety
Take a walk through your loved one’s house and look for problems which could potentially cause a fall.
Look for these situations which can increase the risk of a fall:
- Cluttered areas
- Loose wires, like those from a lamp, which extend out into the walking space
- Poorly lit rooms or hallways
- Loose handrails
- Uneven flooring, damaged flooring, or high thresholds
If you identify problems, work to get them fixed right away.
Keep a Senior’s House Clean
Clutter can contribute to a senior’s risk of falling. If a senior’s house is cluttered, work with them to get the house more organized.
- Help a senior identify items that they no longer need, and hold a yard sale or donate the items.
- Provide shelving units and organizational systems to help reduce household clutter.
- Consider hiring a cleaning service if the senior has difficulty keeping up with the housework.
Simply keeping things clean and keeping items up off of the floor can make a senior’s home safer.
Modify the Bathroom
The bathroom is a high-risk area of the house for falls. Bathrooms tend to be small and cramped, the floors may get wet, and getting into and out of the tub safely can in itself lead to a fall.
These bathroom modifications can make it safer:
- Install hand rails in and around the tub, near the sink, and by the toilet
- Install a walk-in shower to eliminate the dangers of tub transfers
- Line the tub’s bottom with mats or stickers to maximize traction
- Ensure the bathroom is well-lit
Encourage the Use of Mobility Assistance Devices
Falls often occur when a senior doesn’t have the support or stability they need as moving through their home. If a doctor advises that a loved one use a mobility device, like a cane or a rollator, encourage them to do so. Investing in quality equipment designed for comfort, or simply taking the time to make sure that equipment is properly adjusted can mean that a senior will be more willing to use it.
Additional Measures to Keep Seniors Safe
When a senior lives alone, staying on top of these 5 fall prevention tips can help to keep them safer. You may also want to invest in a Philips Lifeline or Greatcall medical alert device. These wearable devices can allow a senior to call for help, even if they’ve fallen and cannot reach a phone.
Investing in home care for your loved one is another excellent way to help ensure their safety. A caregiver can be with your loved one when you can’t. You’ll have the peace of mind in knowing that someone will be with your loved one every day, increasing their safety. Don’t forget that home care has other advantages, too, including reduced social isolation.
If you would like to explore home care for seniors, please contact Cahoon Care. We would be happy to discuss the options available and help you determine what services are best for your loved one.