If your elderly loved one is one of the 90% of older adults who decides to remain at home throughout aging, there are several considerations to make sure the senior remains comfortable, independent, and most importantly, safe.
It’s a prevalent presumption that if the older person remains at home, especially if she’s resided there for a number of years, of course the person will be safe. She is fully aware of every nook and cranny of the home: that one creaky board in the hallway, the sharp corners of the coffee table to avoid, and the path from her bed to the bathroom. Nonetheless, falls in the home happen more often for seniors than in any other location, often resulting in serious injury.
At Compassionate Nursing Services, providers of high quality St. Louis home health care services, we’re committed to ensuring that older adults remain safe at home, and have provided the room-by-room fall prevention checklist below to help families ensure the safety of their loved ones. Walk with us through each room of the home to determine what modifications may be necessary in your senior loved one’s home.
Entryway: Falls are prevalent at the entrance to seniors’ homes. Wet or icy pathways and stairs make walking areas slick, and hands full of packages, bags, a purse, etc. make it challenging to grab onto handrails. First, make sure that appropriate handrails are in place, along both sides of stairs, and an absorbent door mat is in front of the door. A small table positioned near the door allows for possessions to be set down as the door is unlocked and shoes are wiped dry. Nonslip material placed inside the doorway is also effective for decreasing the risk of senior falls when coming into the home.
Family/Living Room: Tripping hazards can be abundantly prevalent in general living spaces. First, get rid of any throw rugs and confirm that carpeting is secure. Eliminate all clutter, cords, low furniture, etc. Also ensure that there’s sufficient space between furniture to operate a walker or wheelchair safely.
Kitchen: Check storage areas that are above the senior’s waistline, and reorganize so that all heavy and/or highly used objects are stored in a more easily accessible place. It’s also vital to make sure that the kitchen floor stays clean and dry at all times, and again, that all throw rugs and any other tripping hazards are removed.
Bathroom: Most senior falls happen in the bathroom, so pay extra close attention to any concerns you come across, and take time to make some easy modifications to promote fall prevention and keep your senior loved one safe. Install grab bars beside the toilet and tub/shower, add non-slip strips to the tub/shower, exchange the standard toilet seat with a raised one, and give some thought to a shower seat and handheld shower head for the senior. And always make sure the floor stays clean and dry.
Did you know the in-home care professionals at Compassionate Nursing Services are available to provide a personalized fall prevention assessment in your senior loved one’s home, in addition to providing skilled St. Louis home healthcare services? Contact us any time at 314-432-4312 to request a free in-home consultation to learn more tips for keeping your senior loved one safe with the assistance of our highly skilled caregiving team.