Sarasota, FL
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elderly man standing with walker
Published By Michael Juceam on February 16, 2021

Home is supposed to be a safe sanctuary where we relax and unwind and find great comfort. It’s only natural that the vast majority of seniors would prefer to remain at home throughout aging rather than face a move to a higher level of care.

But hidden throughout the home are potential hazards that can lead to a fall. Elderly falls are incredibly common, occurring in one in every four adults over age 65, causing:

  • Serious injury in 20% of all falls, including head injuries and broken bones
  • Emergency room visits for millions of seniors
  • Hospitalizations for over 800,000 seniors each year
  • A fear of falling again that impacts quality of life

Contributing factors to falls include:

  • A deficiency of vitamin D
  • Medication side effects
  • Vision problems
  • Arthritis/joint pain
  • Balance/mobility issues

These risks can be minimized through a checkup with the senior’s primary care physician, but there are additional concerns around the home that increase the risk of a fall. The first step is to do a walk-through assessment of the senior’s home. You’ll want to check each room, hallway, entryway, and exterior of the home for hazards such as:

  • Low tables and other furniture
  • Loose throw rugs
  • Clutter
  • Poor lighting
  • Anything else that could cause the senior to trip or stumble

In addition to the above, here are additional recommendations to help make each area of the home safer:

Outside:

  • Make sure sidewalks are swept and clear of any debris
  • Ensure handrails are securely placed along entryway stairs or ramps
  • Keep the area brightly lit if your parents will be outside in the evening
  • Place a sturdy table by the front door to place shopping bags or packages

Kitchen:

  • Store items that are used often in easy-to-reach locations
  • Make sure the floor is kept clean and dry
  • Keep chairs pushed beneath the table

Bathrooms:

  • Install grab bars securely in the tub/shower and beside the toilet
  • Consider a shower chair and handheld shower wand for safer bathing
  • Place non-slip mats in the tub/shower
  • Secure bathmats to the floor with double-sided carpet tape
  • Keep floors clean and dry

Bedroom/Living Room:

  • Make sure there is enough space between furnishings for a walker or wheelchair to get through if needed
  • Place nightlights throughout areas that might be accessed at night
  • Keep several flashlights in handy areas in case of a power outage

Hallways and Stairs:

  • Sturdy handrails should be on both sides of the stairs
  • Avoid waxing or polishing floors and stairs
  • Never use throw rugs; low-pile carpeting is best

Taking simple steps like these can make all the difference in keeping your aging parents safe from the danger of a fall.

As the experts in home care in Venice, FL and surrounding areas, Right at Home is here to offer a free fall risk assessment for the seniors in our care. Contact us to schedule yours today. We look forward to getting to know more about your in-home care needs.


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