We’ve all seen comedy shows that involved someone stepping on a banana peel and staging an exaggerated, elaborate fall – but when an older adult falls it is no laughing matter. In fact, falls are the leading cause of both serious injury and death in seniors, with tens of millions of older adults falling each year. And since the majority of elderly falls occur right in the home, it’s important to go through your senior loved ones’ living spaces with a fine tooth comb to search for, and remove, fall risks.
Compassionate Nursing Services, top providers of senior home care in St. Louis, offers the following tips to get you started:
- Look through each room of the home from the perspective of an older adult. Imagine trying to navigate a wheelchair or walker through pathways to various high-use items: the TV, refrigerator, table lamps, etc. Is there enough space to reach these destinations without bumping into obstacles? Are there cords, throw rugs, or other inconspicuous items on the floor that might be difficult to see and/or step/wheel over?
- Check lighting sources and levels throughout the home. Insufficient lighting, particularly from the bedroom to the bathroom, when nighttime trips are common, is a major contributor to elderly falls. Make sure nightlights or other sources of light are in place throughout areas where the senior might frequent after dark, and that the highest recommended wattage bulbs are used in all light sources.
- Take extra precautions in bathrooms and stairways. If the older adult uses a staircase, either inside or outside of the home, it’s crucial to ensure that handrails run along both sides of the stairs, and that there’s plenty of light at both the top and bottom of the stairs. Using contrasting colors on the stairs can also help enhance visibility. In the bathroom, install grab bars, handrails, and non-skid materials in and around the tub, sink and toilet, and ensure that floors are kept clean and dry at all times.
For more home safety recommendations to prevent elderly falls, contact Compassionate Nursing Services. Our senior home care in St. Louis can include a home safety evaluation to determine the best ways to keep your older loved one safe. In addition, we’re on hand to help with ambulation and with other tasks around the home, such as cooking, cleaning, and pet care, alleviating fall risks even further and providing families with peace of mind in knowing their senior loved one is safe and well cared for.
Call us any time at 314-432-4312 to get started on improving quality of life and enhancing senior safety for your precious loved one!