Whether it is electrical wires, slippery floors or unsafe stairs, some of the most common causes of falls are in the home where your elderly loved one may have a false sense of security. Preventing falls in your loved one’s home does not mean the whole house has to be remodelled, but rather a few basic and easy changes to make it much safer.
Repair trip hazards
Sometimes small hazards in the home can lead to trips and falls which eventually could lead to pain and injuries in your loved one. Be sure to take a look around rooms to make sure there are no items such as lifting carpet, slippery rugs, piles of clutter, lifting floorboards etc. If you do find any of these trip hazards, make sure to replace, remove or repair them to prevent any trips or falls.
One of the most simple and effective methods of fall prevention is keeping your elderly loved one’s home neat and tidy. Remove any clutter that may be compiled around the house like magazines and newspapers. It is important to focus on the areas of the house that have higher foot traffic, like the stairs or hallways and places like the kitchen or bathrooms.
Installing handrails and grab bars are crucial to preventing falls when you loved one gets in and out of the bath, goes up the stairs or gets up and down off of the toilet. The best place to install grab bars are by the bathtub and the toilet. The best place to install handrails are in hallways and stairways.
Low lighting is another major hazard when an elderly loved one is moving around their house. Installing brighter light bulbs around the home in narrow hallways, stairs and small rooms is essential in creating more visibility for your loved one. Small bedside night lights around the home are good for the elderly when they get up to use the bathroom in the night, so they have better guidance.
It is good to make sure different areas around the home are nonslip on floors with harder surfaces. In showers and bathtubs, it can be very slippery and dangerous when it becomes wet, so nonslip mats are essential. Nonslip mats can also be used around the kitchens, porches and bathrooms.
Asking your elderly loved one to wear shoes when they are walking around the house is a very easy way to prevent slipping and falling as they already have built-in grips. Another way to prevent falls is to swap out loose and baggy clothing for more fitting clothing so it does not cause any trip hazards with fabric gathering around the feet or get caught on any door handles. It is also advisable that they do not wear tights or pop socks directly on slippy surfaces.
Ask your loved one to consider living on one level of their home when possible. If their home is big enough, moving a bedroom downstairs is an effective way to avoid using the stairs every day. By limiting the trips up and down the stairs, it can prevent horrible and damaging falls. f this isn’t possible, consider the installation of a stairlift to help to get up and down the stairs safely.