Each year, one out of three adults age 65 and older suffers a fall—and nearly a third of those sustain injuries that will hamper their independence for the rest of their lives. Fortunately, many falls are preventable. With a few simple safety modifications, you can greatly reduce the risk of falls in your home. Here are some tips to get started:
1. Remove safety hazards
One of the easiest things you can do to improve senior home safety is to remove clutter and other trip hazards. Make sure hallways are clear of electrical cords and rugs. Move furniture away from high-traffic areas. And repair loose floorboards and carpeting. Additionally, items that seniors use throughout the day like dishes, food, medication, and other necessities should be stored within reach.
2. Invest in safety devices
Many falls take place in the bathroom, making the bathroom one of the most hazardous rooms in the house for seniors. But safety devices can help reduce the risk significantly. Replace the toilet seat with a raised version that features arm rests. Install grab-bars and non-slip mats in the shower or tub. And consider a sturdy shower seat to further increase safety. In the bedroom, install handrails for both sides of the bed. Adding non-slip treads on indoor and outdoor staircases will also help boost senior home safety.
3. Ensure adequate lighting
Vision begins to deteriorate with age, especially in low light, which is why it’s so important to ensure seniors have adequate lighting in their home. Nightlights should be used in the bedroom, bathroom, and hallways, and lamps that light with a simple touch make great easy-to-illuminate bedside lighting. Another lighting tip is to replace regular light switches with glow-in-the-dark switches that are easy to find in the dark.
4. Check the closets
Many seniors aren’t aware that their own clothing and footwear can be a safety risk, so help your loved one sort through their closet and get rid of high heels, floppy slippers, and shoes with slick or extra-thick soles. Baggy clothing can also increase the risk of falls, so get rid of loose clothing—especially pants—and replace with properly fitted clothing that won’t drag on the ground and create trip hazards.
5. Review medications
Mobility and balance are difficult enough to maintain in older age, and unfortunately many seniors take medication that makes them dizzy or tired, which further increases the risk of falling. Go through the list of medications your loved one is taking and keep an eye on the side effects. If you find some with side effects that might negatively affect mobility and balance, have your loved one ask their doctor for alternatives.
Home safety equipment at affordable prices
If you or a senior loved one is in need of home safety equipment to help prevent falls, Avondale can help. We carry a wide variety of safety equipment and other medical equipment designed for home care. Give us a call today. Our customer service specialists can answer all your questions and recommend equipment that will best suit your needs. Check our medical equipment online store