The ability to live at home as you age is a wonderful thing. However, the risk of falling in the home is a significant risk for seniors. A simple slip in the bathroom could lead to a fracture, broken bone, or worse. While a fracture may sound mild, approximately one in four older adults who experience a fractured hip pass away within six months of the injury. That is why it is vitally important to take steps to prevent falls for older loved ones at home.
Fortunately, there are several straightforward home modifications that can create a safer environment and prevent falls for older loved ones. The senior care experts at Advanced Home Health Care, a provider of home health care services in Burlington, Keokuk, and the surrounding areas, offer some simple tips for a safe home.
- Use a padded bath or shower seat.
- Install grab bars to walls in the tub or shower and next to the toilet. These should be strong enough to support the full weight of an adult.
- Add slip-proof mats or strips within and around the tub.
- Instead of bottles of shower gel or bar soap, use a wall-mounted liquid soap dispenser in the shower.
- Install a portable, hand-held shower head.
- Remove throw rugs throughout the home or secure them with non-slip tape.
- Consider replacing thick carpeting with low pile carpet or slip-proof tile.
- Clear away clutter from walkways.
- Avoid using floor polish.
- Make sure there is sufficient lighting throughout your older loved one’s home.
- Use motion detector lights or nightlights to make walkways around the home more visible at night.
- Ensure that there are no electrical cords across walking paths.
In addition to these modifications, there are a number of products that can also be used to prevent falls for older loved ones in the home. For example:
- Bedrails: Often, senior falls occur at night as older adults attempt to get out of bed to use the bathroom or move about the home. Bedrails help older adults stand up from a prone position more safely.
- At-Home Monitoring Systems: In-home monitoring systems provide family members with the ability to keep track of a senior’s movements in the home. Sensors can be installed all around the home, and some offer seniors the ability to call for help in the event of a fall or other emergency.
- Door Alarms: There are certain health conditions, such as dementia, that lead to wandering in senior loved ones. Door alarms can alert family caregivers that the senior is moving around and may be in danger of falling.
- Fall Prevention Footwear: There are special shoes that include rubber grips on the bottom to help decrease the risk for slipping and are ideal for older adults who are at an increased risk for falls. Additionally, waterproof, slip-resistant socks are available for seniors to wear to prevent falls while bathing.
Most seniors today prefer to age in place in the comfort of home as opposed to moving into an assisted living facility, which means it’s critical to ensure the home is safe and secure. The home care experts at Advanced Home Health Care in Keokuk and the surrounding area can help families assess fall risks in the home of an older loved one, suggest home modifications, and provide the personalized care seniors need.
Reach out to us online or give us a call today at 800.791.7785 for more information about our home health care services.