If your senior loved one is one of the 90% of seniors who chooses to stay at home throughout aging, there are various issues to consider to assure the senior’s comfort, independence, and most importantly, safety.
It’s a common presumption that if the older adult remains at home, especially if she’s lived there for a number of years, of course the person will be safe. She is aware of every nook and cranny of the home: that one creaky board in the hallway, the sharp corners of the coffee table to avoid, and the path from her bed to the bathroom. However, falls in the home happen more often for seniors than in any other environment, often resulting in serious injury or even death.
At Enhanced Home Care, providers of the professional elder care in Kansas City and surrounding areas, we’re devoted to making sure that older individuals continue to be safe at home, and have provided the room-by-room fall prevention guidelines below to help families ensure the safety of their loved ones. Walk with us through each room of the home to figure out what alterations may be required in your senior loved one’s home.
Entryway: Falls are prevalent at the entryway to seniors’ homes. Wet or icy sidewalks and stairs make walking areas slick, and hands full of packages, bags, a purse, etc. make it difficult to grasp handrails. First, ensure that proper handrails are in place, along both sides of stairs, and an absorbent door mat is in front of the door. A small table placed near the door allows for belongings to be set down as the door is unlocked and shoes are wiped dry. Nonslip material placed inside the entryway is also helpful for lowering the risk of a fall when coming into the home.
Family/Living Room: Tripping hazards can be abundantly prevalent in general living spaces. First, remove any throw rugs and ensure carpeting is secure. Eliminate all clutter, cords, low furniture, etc. Also ensure there’s sufficient space between furniture to operate a walker or wheelchair safely.
Kitchen: Evaluate storage areas that are above the senior’s waist, and rearrange so that all heavy and/or highly used items are stored in a more easily accessible spot. It’s also crucial to ensure that the kitchen floor remains clean and dry at all times, and again, that all throw rugs and any other tripping hazards are removed.
Bathroom: Most senior falls happen in the bathroom, so pay extra close attention to any hazards you come across, and take time to make some easy alterations to enhance fall prevention and keep your senior loved one safe. Install grab bars beside the toilet and tub/shower, add non-slip strips to the tub/shower, exchange the standard toilet seat for a raised one, and give some thought to a shower seat and handheld shower head for the senior. And always be sure the floor remains clean and dry.
Did you know the in-home care professionals at Enhanced Home Care are available to provide a personalized fall prevention assessment in your senior loved one’s home, in addition to providing the trusted elder care Kansas City families need? Contact us any time at 913-327-0000 to request a free in-home consultation to learn more tips for keeping your senior loved one safe with the assistance of our highly skilled caregiving team.