If your loved one has experienced a fall in the past, it’s time to start taking fall prevention seriously. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three seniors falls every year. Many of those falls result in serious injuries, such as head trauma and broken bones. In addition to the physical toll that a fall can take on a senior, it can also make them afraid to go near the area where they fell or make them avoid activities that led to their injury.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to prevent your loved one from falling. Here are six tips to help you create a safe home.
Install Handrails for Extra Support
Wherever a fall is likely, you should consider installing handrails for extra support. The most common areas that falls occur in—such as bathrooms and stairways—should have handrails. Install them in the shower, next to the toilet, and in all stairways to give your loved one the support they need to continue living independently.
Wear Shoes Inside
Many people like to take their shoes off when at home, but for seniors, that can be risky. Walking barefoot or in socks can cause slips on slick surfaces like hardwood and linoleum. Talk to your loved one about wearing slip-resistant shoes inside the house.
One of the biggest contributors to falls inside the home is improper lighting. Seniors often have more difficulty seeing in areas with low light, which can cause them to trip over objects that they can’t see. Think about installing brighter light bulbs or adding lamps to areas that are dark. Nightlights in the bedroom and bathroom can also help your loved one in case they need to get up in the middle of the night.
Avoid Loose Clothes
Loose clothing can be a hazard for seniors, too. It can get caught up in the feet or snag on fixtures and furniture, which can cause your loved one to trip and fall.
Declutter the Living Space
Clutter on the floor is one of the easiest hazards to remedy when trying to prevent falls in the home. If your loved one has items lying around on the floor, such as old newspapers, magazines, and books, take some time to help them clean and organize them.
Remove Tripping Hazards
Sometimes the furniture, decorations, and fixtures that we have in our homes can cause falls. Items like loose carpet, slippery rugs, and low furniture can be hard to see. Go through your loved one’s house and make a note of anything that might be a tripping hazard, then talk to your loved one about either removing them, moving them to another location that is out of the way, or making them less hazardous in another way.
Get the help you need to make your loved one’s home safer