Just a few changes in your home can protect your elderly loved ones from traumatic accidents. Yes, falls within the home are quite common among the elderly, with one in every three suffering injuries from an accidental mishap. Many accidental falls are responsible for serious injuries as well. Many senior citizens suffer from hip fractures, abrasions and other health complications every year—all because of in home slips and tumbles. While these might not be as serious for those younger adults—they can certainly be fatal for those who are more fragile and older. Further, these can be extremely frightening, but the good news is that there are many ways to minimize such occurrences. It’s important to understand that even with certain precautions in place—fall risks are always present.
Let’s look at some reliable ways you can better protect your elderly loved one and ensure they are safe even when you can’t be there.
The Most Reliable Ways to Safeguard Your Loved Ones and Prevent Accidents
You don’t want your loved one to feel like they can’t interact in fun activities because they are older. But, you do want to protect them from physical harm. Many seniors avoid activities they used to enjoy because they are afraid of falling. It doesn’t have to be this way. When you take care of slippery floors, open electrical cords, and possible rickety furniture you can lower fall risks. Providing fall prevention does improve peace-of-mind for everyone.
- If your loved one is prone to falling out of bed one of the best methods to minimize this risk is to install something similar to hospital arm rails. Many standard beds can be customized for something like this. However, if yours can’t be modified you can request a hospital bed and most insurance companies cover this.
- Remove tripping hazards. For example, loose electrical cords, loose flooring, non-secured rugs on tile flooring, and more—these all need to be taken care of. Also, don’t forget simple things that might be lying around. Picking up clutter and keeping a home tidy can help to avoid accidental trips.
- Install handrails and a couple grab bars in the shower. Bathroom falls are very common—but these can also happen to anyone. Putting safety bars in place can help to minimize fall risks like these.
- Use non-slip rugs to avoid falls. From slick porches, to kitchen and bathroom flooring—using non-slip rugs can dramatically reduce sudden falls due to slippery surfaces. Placing adhesive material onto the back of a rug will keep it from shifting when stepped on.
- Don’t dress your loved one in extra baggy clothing, even when they plan on sitting around at home. Baggy clothing can snag on drawer handles and even corners of furniture, causing an avoidable accident.
- If your loved one lives in a two story home and they have been determined to be a fall risk you might want to move them to a single level dwelling. This is especially important if you can’t be there with them 24/7.
- Make sure the home has good lighting so your loved one can see where they are stepping all hours of the day.
All of these tips can go a very long way in ensuring your loved one remains safe in their very own home. Just taking the time to double check and correct problem areas is worth the effort!