If your senior loved one is one of the 90% of seniors who prefers to remain at home throughout aging, there are some things to consider to make sure the senior’s comfort, independence, and most importantly, safety.
It’s a common belief that if the older person remains at home, especially if she’s lived there for a number of years, naturally the person will be safe. She knows 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 like the back of her hand. Yet falls in the home take place more often for seniors than in any other environment, often resulting in serious injury or even death.
At Morning Glory Home Care, we’re committed to making sure that older individuals stay safe at home, and have provided the room-by-room fall prevention checklist below to help families ensure the safety of their loved ones. Take a walk with us through each room of the home to identify what alterations may be necessary in your senior loved one’s home.
Entryway: Falls are common at the entrance to seniors’ homes. Wet or icy sidewalks and stairs make walking areas slick, and hands full of packages, bags, a purse, etc. make it difficult to grasp 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 helpful for reducing the risk of a fall when coming into the home.
Family/Living Room: Falling hazards can be abundantly prevalent in general living spaces. First, remove any throw rugs and confirm that carpeting is secure. Eliminate all clutter, cords, low furniture, etc. Also make sure there’s enough space between furniture to maneuver a walker or wheelchair safely.
Kitchen: Assess storage areas that are higher than the senior’s waistline, and rearrange so that all heavy and/or highly used objects are stored in a more easily accessible place. It’s also essential to make sure that the kitchen floor remains clean and dry at all times, and again, that all throw rugs and any other tripping hazards are removed.
Bathroom: Most senior falls take place in the bathroom, so pay extra close attention to any hazards you discover, and take time to make some easy modifications to enhance 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, replace 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 be sure the floor remains clean and dry.
Did you know the in-home care professionals at Morning Glory Home Care are available to provide a personalized fall prevention assessment in your senior loved one’s home, in addition to providing high quality, personalized home care and dementia care in Belleville, IL and the surrounding areas. Contact us any time at 618-667-8400 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.