Falls can be painful, but for seniors, a fall can cause catastrophic effects, such as a fractured hip, something that can lead to even more health concerns. As many as one in four seniors who experience a fractured hip lose their lives within six months of the injury – a terribly disturbing, yet preventable fact. For these reasons, it is crucial to take measures in the home to help prevent senior falls.
Just a few simple modifications to a senior’s home can foster a safer environment and help reduce the risk for dangerous senior falls. Below are some simple home modification ideas from CareFor, provider of home care assistance in Austin, TX and the nearby area, to help keep the seniors you love safe from falling.
- Replace all light bulbs regularly, both inside and out, to ensure there is sufficient lighting throughout the senior’s home
- Utilize nightlights or motion detector lights for improved visibility at night
- Make sure there are no electrical cords stretched across walking paths
- Replace any thick carpeting with low pile carpet or slip-proof tile
- Get rid of all throw rugs, or secure them with non-slip tape
- Use contrasting colors with paint, furniture, and carpeting to clearly note changes in surface types or levels
- Never use floor polish
- Install grab bars to walls around the bathtub and next to the toilet, strong enough to support an adult’s full body weight
- Add slip-proof mats or strips within and around the tub
- Utilize a wall-mounted liquid soap dispenser in the shower
- Use a portable, hand-held shower head
- Add a padded bath or shower seat
Along with these ideas, there are plenty of additional products you can look into to help prevent senior falls at home. Consider the following, for instance:
- Door Alarms: If a senior you love tends to wander, especially at night, door alarms can alert you or the person’s caregiver that they are moving around and may be in danger of falling.
- Monitoring Systems: Monitoring systems are a great way to keep track of a senior’s movements in the home. Sensors can be placed throughout the home, and some even have calling capabilities so the person can alert a caregiver if a fall or other emergency occurs.
- Fall Management Footwear: These products include rubber grips on the bottom to reduce the risk for slipping and are great for seniors who are at an elevated risk for falls. There are even waterproof, slip-resistant socks that the senior can wear in the bathtub or shower.
- Bedrails: Many senior falls occur at night as seniors move about while sleeping or get up to go to a different room in the home. Bedrails can prevent a senior from falling out of bed and also provide something to hold onto when standing up to get out of bed.
With so many seniors making the choice to age in place at home rather than moving into assisted living, it’s crucial to ensure the home is as safe as possible. The professional home care team at CareFor can help families assess the risk of senior falls in the home, make home modification recommendations, and provide the customized care seniors need.