Making your home safe for seniors
Today's guest post about fall prevention is from David Virden of The Senior Care Blog. One out of three adults age 65 and older falls each year. While this may seem relatively innocuous, the reality is that, among this group, 20% to 30% suffer moderate to severe injuries that make it hard for them to get around or live independently, increasing their risk of early death. In fact, among people 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of injury death. The health care costs associated with these falls reaches almost $30 billion a year. So, if you’re caring for an elder loved one at home, or want to ensure your loved is safe in their own home, what can you do to minimize their risk of injury? Fall-proof your home Loose rugs, cords, bathtubs, and boxes can all increase the chance of tripping and falling. There are numerous things you can do to help keep your home safe for your aging parent or loved one. In the bathroom The bathroom is one of the most dangerous places in the home. Each year almost 250,000 people visit emergency rooms because of an injury suffered in the bathroom. Most of these occur among people 65 years and older. To make the bathroom safer:
- Install a walk-in bath or shower instead of a standard tub. Add grab bars and nonskid mats for added safety.
- Keep a medical alert button in the bathroom at all times.
- If your home has stairs, ensure there are handrails, preferably on both sides of the steps.
- Make sure all floorboards are even and that all rugs are secured with tacks, nonskid pads or double-stick tape.
- Use nonskid floor wax.
- Make sure anything that used frequently, such as towels, dishes, food, etc. are all within easy reach.
- Place nightlights in hallways, bedrooms, bathroom and stairways.
- Move newspapers, boxes, electrical and phone cords, plants, and furniture out of high-traffic areas.