Experiencing a fall can be painful for anyone, but for older adults, falling can have devastating results. One of the common effects of a senior fall is a fractured hip, which can lead to even more health problems. Alarmingly, one-fourth of seniors who fracture a hip die in a period of just six months from the time of the injury – a sobering, yet preventable fact. This shows how important it is to take senior fall prevention measures to keep loved ones safe at home.
The good news is that making a few easy alterations to the home can create a safer environment and lower the risk for a fall. Take steps today to implement these simple home modification recommendations from San Diego Home Caregivers, a provider of in-home care in La Jolla and nearby areas, to help keep your loved ones safe from falling.
- Change all light bulbs on a regular basis, both in the home and outside, to ensure there is always plenty of lighting
- Use nightlights or install motion detector lights to improve nighttime visibility
- Remove any electrical cords that are stretched across walking areas
- Throughout the home, use low pile carpeting or slip-proof tile
- Remove any throw rugs, or make sure they are secured with non-slip tape
- Contrast colors on walls, furniture, and carpeting to clearly note changes in surface types or levels
- Avoid using floor polish
- Affix grab bars to the walls around the tub and beside the toilet, making sure they are secure enough to support an adult’s body weight
- Place slip-proof strips or mats inside and around the shower or bathtub
- Attach a wall-mounted liquid soap dispenser to the shower wall
- Install a portable, hand-held shower head
- Utilize a padded shower chair
These additional products are also helpful for senior fall prevention at home:
- Door Alarms: Especially for seniors who wander, door alarms will alert you or the senior’s caregiver that they are up and about and may be in danger of falling.
- Monitoring Systems: These are a highly effective way to be aware of a senior’s movements throughout the house. Some sensors even include calling capabilities so the senior can reach a caregiver if a fall or another type of emergency happens.
- Fall Management Footwear: This type of footwear has rubber grips on the bottom to prevent slipping. They’re perfect for an older adult who is at an elevated risk for falling. You can even find waterproof, slip-resistant socks that the person can wear in the bathtub or shower.
- Bedrails: Falls are common at night as older adults move around while sleeping or get up to go to another room in the house. Bedrails can prevent seniors from falling out of bed and also offer something sturdy to hold onto when standing up to get out of bed.
So many older adults are deciding to remain at home throughout aging, rather than moving into a nursing home or other type of assisted living facility. This means it’s vitally important to make sure the home is as safe as possible. The trained and experienced home care team at San Diego Home Caregivers can help you assess the risk of senior falls in the home, provide senior fall prevention tips, and offer the personalized care seniors need.