We’re all familiar with comedies that include a man or woman stepping onto a banana peel and staging an exaggerated, elaborate fall – but senior falls are undoubtedly no laughing matter. Indeed, falls are the leading cause of both major injury and death in seniors, with tens of millions of seniors experiencing a fall each year. And as the largest percentage of senior falls occur right around the home, it’s important to go through your senior loved ones’ living spaces with a fine tooth comb to search for, and get rid of, any and all fall hazards.
Enhanced Home Care, expert providers of senior home care in the Kansas City area, provides the following fall prevention guidelines:
- Look through each room of the senior’s home from the point of view of the older person. Picture trying to steer a walker or wheelchair along paths to a variety of high-use points of interest: the television, fridge, lamps, etc. Is there adequate space to get to these items without running into obstacles? Do you see cords, throw rugs, or other inconspicuous objects on the floor that could be hard to see and/or step/wheel over?
- Inspect lighting sources and levels of lighting all throughout the house. Poor lighting, specifically from the bedroom to the bathroom, when nighttime trips are common, is a significant cause of falls in older adults. Make certain nightlights or other light sources are in place in areas the elderly person may frequent after dark, and that the strongest recommended wattage bulbs are used in all light sources.
- Take extra safety measures in bathrooms and stairways. If the senior uses a staircase, either inside or outside of the home, it’s vital to make sure that railings are placed along both sides of the stairs, and that there’s plenty of light at both the top and bottom of the steps. Use of contrasting colors on the stairs can also help improve visibility. In the bathroom, install grab bars, handrails, and non-slip materials in and around the bathtub, sink and toilet, and ensure that floors are kept clean and dry all the time.
For additional home safety recommendations to prevent senior falls, contact Enhanced Home Care. Our elderly home care in Kansas City and the surrounding area can include a home safety review to determine the best ways to keep your older loved one safe. Additionally, we’re available to assist with ambulation and with other tasks around the home, such as preparing meals, 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.