The elderly are most vulnerable to injury at home. They are more likely to fall and injure themselves. As we age, people fall more often and are more likely to injure themselves. An older adult falls every 11 seconds and dies in an accident. Fires are also more deadly for older adults. People aged 65-74 years are twice as likely to die from a home fire than those aged 75-84. People often try to prevent injuries by placing their elderly loved ones into retirement homes where they can have care for them. This is not something most elderly people would want to do. According to age safe America, 90% older Americans prefer to live in their own homes over retirement homes. However, 85% of them have not done anything to make their homes safe for the elderly. This article will discuss some ways you can make your home safer and more comfortable for your loved ones.
There are many factors that can increase your chances of being hurt or falling as you age. These are the most important:
Fitness decline: Inactivity leads to decreased bone mass, balance loss and slower reaction times.
Low vision: This makes it more difficult to see potential hazards such as steps, puddles and changes in ground level, which could make it more susceptible to a fall.
Medication: More than 40% of seniors use at least 5 drugs each week. These drugs can cause dizziness, drowsiness and low blood pressure. This makes it more likely that an elderly person will fall.
Chronic Conditions: Poor health conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and arthritis can cause poor grip strength, balance, and cognitive impairment. All of these factors increase the likelihood that an elderly person will have a fall.
Surgical Procedures Common procedures such as hip replacements can make elderly people less mobile.
Seniors are most likely to fall in the bathroom. The wet floor and bathtub make it easy for them to slip if they have poor balance. These are some ways to decrease the chance of falling.
- Grab bars for the shower
- Showers are wheelchair-accessible and can be used in wheelchairs.
- Increase the width of your entry doors to at most 32 inches
- Anti-scald shower valves are used to regulate water temperature and prevent older people from getting scalded.
- Grab a pair of bathing chairs for the shower
- Install hand-held showerheads so that they don’t have to reach for them
Take out the bathroom mirror. If they are suffering from
General House Tips
Avoid unnecessary fall hazards It is important to keep your space as open and accessible as possible. Clearing clutter off the floor and keeping extension cords out of reach is a good idea. Walking aids such as canes or non-slip shoes can be kept around the house.
Protect against Fire: Have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors inspected regularly. To ensure that they don’t get damaged, remove candles and inspect the electric cords on all appliances.
Proper lighting is essential: Older adults tend to have poor balance and vision, which makes it easier for them to trip or fall in poorly lit rooms. Install motion detection lighting around your home to ensure that the elderly can turn it on when they need it. It also conserves more electricity.
Stairs can be fireproofed: Check that the railings are sturdy. Alternating steps can be color coded to make it easier to see for those with poor vision. Finally, make sure you clean your outdoor stairs during wintertime when there is ice or snow.
You should check in with them frequently: It’s more than just calling them, but you also want to visit them and see how they are doing. You should observe their ability to move around the house, climb stairs, grab items from the shelves, etc.
A Home Security Assessment: If you are going to take care of an elderly relative, a one-time assessment will help you determine what needs to be done at your home. One assessment is good because most people don’t move houses often so it can last several years. This will ensure that your home is safe and suitable for elderly persons.
Keep them moving: While it is natural to age, staying active can help you to maintain your muscle mass, bone density and mobility. They will be less likely to fall and more independent in their homes.
This is a great way for elderly people to get help if they have to fall. A panic pendant, a small, portable device powered by batteries, ensures that an elderly person has immediate access to help in case of emergency. This device is especially useful when caring for elderly relatives who are more likely to fall and get hurt. Push the button, and the signal is sent to the monitoring professional. They will decide what kind of help the individual needs. The button can be pushed to send a signal back to the monitoring professional who will determine what type of help is needed. An LED flashes when help is received.
Senior citizens are more likely to be injured at home than those who live alone, especially if they are older. It is important that elderly people feel safe in their home. More than 90% of them would prefer to live alone. You should make sure to clean the bathroom before you go. This is where most falls can occur. You should also ensure that your home is well lit and that there are walking aids available. Also, make sure that stairs are clean and easy to reach. Your elderly relatives should be active to prevent them from falling and to be as independent as possible in their later years.