If your senior loved one is one of the 90% of older adults who chooses to remain at home throughout aging, there are several considerations to ensure the senior’s comfort, independence, and most importantly, safety.
It’s a common assumption that if the senior remains at home, particularly 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 edges 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 happen more often for seniors than in any other environment, often resulting in serious injury or even death.
At Absolute Companion Care, providers of the home care services Towson seniors need, we’re committed to ensuring that seniors remain safe at home, and have provided the room-by-room fall prevention checklist below to help families ensure the safety of their loved ones. Walk with us through each room of the home to determine what modifications may be needed in your senior loved one’s home.
Entryway: Falls are common at the entrance to seniors’ homes. Wet or icy walkways and stairs making walking areas slippery, and hands full of packages, bags, a purse, etc. makes it difficult to grasp handrails. First, ensure 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 placed near the door allows for belongings to be set down as the door is unlocked and shoes are wiped dry. Nonslip material placed inside the entryway is also beneficial for reducing the risk of falling when entering the home.
Family/Living Room: Tripping hazards can be abundantly common in general living spaces. First, remove any throw rugs and ensure carpeting is secure. Remove all clutter, cords, low furniture, etc. Also make sure there’s adequate space between furniture to maneuver a walker or wheelchair safely.
Kitchen: Check storage areas that are above the senior’s waist, and reorganize so that all heavy and/or highly used items are stored in a more easily accessible location. It’s also important to ensure 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 occur in the bathroom, so pay extra close attention to any risks you encounter, and take time to make some simple 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 consider 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 Absolute Companion Care are available to provide a personalized fall prevention assessment in your senior loved one’s home, in addition to providing the caring companions Ellicott City seniors need? Contact us any time at 410-357-9640 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.