June being Fall Prevention Month, we feel it’s the best time to be sure that your home is optimized for safety. We’ve all read the statistics that just about ⅓ of senior citizens will fall every year and that falls are the number one cause of injuries for the elderly. Hip fractures, cuts, bruises, and even head or brain injuries are only some of the results of falling. Even minor falls can instill fear in the elderly and prevent them from participating in activities of daily living (bathing, grooming, etc) within the home as well as participating in community activities and social events.
During our free home safety assessments, we often recommend simple solutions to help the elderly avoid falls, whether it is stabilizing loose handrails, removing throw rugs, and/or preventing electrical cords from going across hallways or walkways. Naturally, we can provide home modifications such as grab bar installation, removing glass shower doors, and tub cut installations in the bathroom if indicated. Stairlifts are also a great way to prevent a fall. So very often we install stairlifts for folks who are very active in the community and simply have trouble climbing stairs. We understand you can’t just install a stairlift or grab bars for yourself or a loved one, however there are a wide variety of things that you can do to help yourself or a loved one avoid falls while living comfortably at home.
- Wear shoes or non-slip socks that have grips on the soles. Make it a monthly habit to inspect the soles of most commonly worn shoes or sneakers for wear and tear.
- Install LED battery operated mountable(adhesive) light switches in order to light traffic areas and tops and bottoms of stairways as needed without hard wiring. Night lights are always recommended in the bathroom
- Remove clutter such as old newspapers or magazines that are on the floor, in hallways, or on staircases. Keep your living space neat and tidy to avoid creating trip hazards.
- Use nonslip mats in the kitchen and bathroom. It is important to prevent surfaces from becoming slick when wet. Clean up any spills immediately or better yet void the area of a spill until someone can safely clean it up.
- Repair tripping hazards. Tack down loose carpeting, remove throw rugs, and repair any loose floor boards. Double sided tape can sometimes be utilized to secure area rugs to the floor in certain situations.
- Wear fitted clothing that doesn’t drag and be sure that pants are properly hemmed.
- Consider a touch-activated lamp by the bedside. This will allow for safe ambulation to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
- Always dry off COMPLETELY before exiting the tub or shower to help avoid slipping on the way out. GRAB BARS are always strongly recommended.
- Take a few deep breaths before and after standing up from a sitting position. In through your nose and out through your mouth. This will prevent drop of blood pressure, dizziness, and potentially a fall.
Oakley Home Access is here to help you live safely, age in place, and prevent falls. Contact us for a free home safety assessment. You may also visit our showroom to view and try out our adaptive equipment including stair lifts, wheelchair ramps, and grab bars. We are happy to help any way we can.