Hello, we hope you are doing well. We love providing information that helps seniors live their best life. This week we are sharing this article from our guest blogger Jacob Edward. Please take a moment, sit back and enjoy your reading…
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every three adults age 65 and older will fall every year. As an older adult, falls can cause moderate to severe injuries such as head traumas or hip fractures. These injuries can increase the risk of an early death. Many of these falls will occur inside the home, if the home has not been properly equipped to prevent such accidents. At home, we are less likely to think about our own safety and may forget to equip our home with important assistance devices.
The first step to fall proofing your home is to remove any devices or items that could cause you to trip or slip as you are walking. Clutter such as boxes, newspapers, phone cords, or cable cords can become hazards if they are not removed from high traffic areas or removed entirely from the home. Pet bowls as well as furniture that is low to the grounds or other loose items will need to be removed from the walkways around your home. Loose rugs or carpeting should also be taped to the ground or removed, as it is likely that one can trip on these items.
Make sure the furniture around your home is arranged so that you have plenty of room to walk normally without the inhibition of movement. Keep your staircases or stairways free of clutter. In your bathroom, be careful to put non-slip bath mats inside your tub or shower as well as a rubber mat outside on the bathroom floor. These items are readily available at department or hardware stores. Wet floors or spills should be cleaned and dried immediately to avoid slipping. Grab bars next to the toilet as well as in the shower should be installed to help you get in and out of the tub or shower. These assistance devices will lower your risk of a slip or fall. Make sure that these grab bars are installed by a professional, to ensure that they will not become loose or fall.
Poor lighting around the home is also a cause for trips or falls. Be sure to utilize nightlights in your bedroom, hallways, stairwell, bedroom, and kitchen. Glowing switches are also a tool that one can use to find light switches in the dark. Keeping a flashlight next to your bed for easy access in case of a blackout is also a good idea. Lighting up your living space will make getting around at night easier and safer, especially if you live alone. Your bed should not be too low or too high, as it may be difficult to get in or out of bed. If the bed is too high, you could run the risk of falling out of bed. Too low, and you may injure yourself trying to get up. This advice goes the same for all the furniture you have in your home.
Pay close attention to where you store everyday items. Put items such as food, dishes, and clothing in easy to reach places that will not cause you to strain to retrieve them. This change can help you reduce the risk of falling.
What is perhaps most important is to speak with your primary care provider about your current physical or mental conditions that could affect your balance and strength. Have them look over your current prescribed and over-the-counter medications. Some inner ear or eye conditions can have a serious effect on how you move around your home, which is why it is important to meet with your doctor and develop a plan that is best for you.
Guest Author: Jacob Edward is the manager of Senior Planning in Phoenix Arizona. Jacob founded Senior Planning in 2007 and has helped many Arizona seniors and their families navigate the process of long term care planning. Senior Planning provides assistance to seniors and the disabled finding and arranging care services, as well as applying for state and federal benefits. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys dining out and supporting his alma mater Arizona State’s Sun Devil sports teams. Jacob lives in Tempe, Arizona.