Taking a tumble is never fun, but for an elderly person, a fall can have devastating effects, such as hip fracture, and even lead to a chain reaction of health problems. One-fourth of older adults who fracture a hip die within six months of the injury; a startling, yet preventable statistic.
Making some simple modifications to the home can help create a safer environment for seniors and help prevent dangerous falls. Here are some easy home modifications that can be done to reduce the risk of falls for the elderly.
- Replace bulbs regularly to make sure there is adequate illumination in the home
- Use nightlights or motion sensor lights for better visibility at night
- Reduce the amount of electrical cords running across large areas
- Install low pile carpet or skid-proof tile
- Remove rugs, or secure them with non-skid tape
- Use a contrast in color with paint, carpet and furniture to denote changes in surface types or levels
- Avoid using floor polish
- Install grab bars on walls around the tub and beside the toilet, strong enough to hold your weight
- Add nonskid mats or strips to bathtubs
- Mount liquid soap dispenser on the bathtub wall
- Install a portable, hand-held shower head
- Add a padded bath or shower seat
In addition to these home modifications, there are a number of products on the market that can help with preventing falls at home. Here are a few:
- Door Alarms: If you have a loved one who tends to wander, particularly at night, door alarms can help alert you or a caregiver that your loved one is moving about and may be at risk of falling.
- Monitoring Systems: Monitoring systems are becoming popular as a means of tracking an elderly individual’s movements at home. Sensors can be placed throughout the home to monitor movements and some even come with call functions for the senior to alert a caregiver in the event of a fall.
- Fall Management Socks and Slippers: These are available with rubber grips on the bottom to help prevent slips and are perfect for seniors who are considered high-risk for falls. There are also slip resistant socks that can be worn in the shower.
- Bedrails: Many falls occur during the night as seniors move in their sleep or get up during the night. Bedrails can keep seniors from falling out of bed and give them something to grip when standing to get out of bed.
With more and more older adults choosing to age in place as opposed to moving into assisted living facilities, it is important to make sure that the home is as safe as possible. The Sunnyvale and Fremont home care experts at Visiting Angels can help families assess fall risks in the home, make home modification suggestions, and provide the dedicated, loving care your loved one needs. Contact us today to learn more about our senior care services.