As you go through the seasons of life with your senior loved one, it’s important to ensure that falls aren’t a part of their fall, or winter, spring or summer. Each year more than 3 million older adults are treated in an emergency department for falls, which can often lead to more problems down the road. But there are some important steps you can take to ensure that they are as safe as they can be, and to minimize the risk of falls.
Watch Their Step
It’s often the littlest things that trip us up in life. That goes for our seniors too as they’re going about their everyday lives in their homes. Sometimes it can be a stray shoe or a dog toy on the floor. Small things can lead to big falls for our senior loved ones.
To help minimize their risk for falls, go through their home room by room with them. Declutter and rearrange. But as you’re arranging, ensure your senior loved one knows where their items are. Having things within reach is important for unsteady aging adults, so they don’t need to go searching for things, or standing on chairs looking on higher shelves, to find what they need.
As you’re decluttering and checking for hazards, you will want to ensure you check all of the rugs in their home – from tiny bath mats to larger area rugs. Believe it or not, it is these rugs that often lead to the most falls among our senior loved ones. Their shoes or walkers can get caught up under the rug and they can trip. Fringe can tie them up. Sometimes the rugs don’t have a backing, and they cause slips. Big or small, rugs can pose a problem. You will want to either ensure they are secure or remove them from the everyday walkway all together.
While you are doing what you can to watch their steps and ensure the home is safe, you’ll want to make sure you make it as easy as possible for them to look out for themselves too.
Get some high wattage bulbs so the rooms are bright enough. It will help them see where they are going, and be able to spot anything they need across the room easily.
If they have a landline, have several phones throughout the home in convenient spots so they can call for help should they need it. If they are using a cell phone, find a convenient holder so they can take it with them as they travel about the house.
Make Some Bigger Changes
Though your senior loved one may feel they are fine in their home as they are with only a few, small modifications, sometimes something bigger is needed.
Every day tasks that they’ve done for years such as taking a shower on their own and using the bathroom can now lead to problems. Having a grab bar by the toilet so they can steady themselves, and pull themselves up is helpful. Sometimes installing a higher toilet for your senior loved one is the most beneficial. In the shower, non-slip surfaces are key, but also is a grab bar so they have something to hold on to.
Stairs can be tricky. Ensure there are railings on both sides of your senior loved one’s staircases, both in the home, and leading into and out of it. What they used to be able to navigate so quickly, can now lead to falls. If your senior loved one needs even more help and just can’t do stairs any more, a ramp going into the home is something that could be considered.
Hire a Helping Hand
Many home care agencies, including One Solution Home Care, have experts trained in fall prevention that can come into your home and help your senior loved one. While you want to be there as much as possible, it is not feasible for you to always be around. Home care workers can offer an extra hand to your senior as they use the bathroom, walk about their house or even head out into the community.
They also know the various pitfalls around the home for seniors, and can help point them out, and recommend any changes needed.
We Can Help
If you are looking for someone to help your seniors this fall, and every season, One Solution Home Care can help. Our caregivers can help ensure they are safe in their own homes, and provide fall prevention services. Whatever your needs are, we will try to help match them with compassionate, professional caregivers.
One Solution Home Care helps people in Massachusetts and Rhode Island live full, independent, safe and dignified lives within the comfort of their own homes. If you are ready to talk about hiring an in home caregiver, we are available to answer any questions you might have. Fill out our online form or give us a call at (508) 617-8233.