Fall-related injuries are one of the leading causes of senior hospitalizations in the United States. Unfortunately, even a single fall can lead to serious issues such as hip fractures or traumatic brain injuries that limit a senior's ability to enjoy an independent lifestyle. Also, seniors who fall may limit their activities out of the fear of falling again.
As frightening as it is to think of your loved one falling at home, this is one of the most preventable causes of injury. Now that your loved one has decided to age in place, use these tips to keep them safe from falling at home.
1. Install Proper Lighting
Senior adults often get up at night to perform activities, such as using the restroom or getting a drink of water. However, a dark hallway makes it harder for them to avoid potential fall hazards, such as a pet underfoot. Install motion-activated lights throughout your loved one's home to ensure that they always have a well-lit path when they wake up at night.
2. Keep Walking Paths Clear
A cluttered home increases the risk of falling, and it is possible that your loved one has furniture and other belongings that block the main walkways. Take a walk around your loved one's house and make sure that the walkways are clear of cords, furniture legs, and small items that could cause them to trip.
3. Secure Rugs to the Floor
Decorative rugs add a touch of warmth to your loved one's house. However, they can create a fall hazard if they are not properly secured. If your loved one won't part with their rugs, then use double-sided rug tape to adhere it to the floor. Then, consider replacing any rugs with turned up corners or edges that refuse to stay down.
4. Provide Assistance With Housekeeping
Your loved one may find that cleaning their house helps them stay active, but it can also pose a problem if they fall on slippery floors or attempt to climb ladders to dust the shelves. Identify a few potentially risky tasks that your loved one can delegate to professional housekeeping services — such as mopping to prevent them from falling while doing chores.
5. Increase Bathroom Safety
Bathrooms have numerous areas that make seniors vulnerable to falls. Install grab bars in the shower and by the toilet to prevent your loved one from losing their balance. Then, make sure that all wet areas have slip-resistant mats. If necessary, arrange for a caregiver to stay nearby in case your loved one needs help getting in and out of the bathtub.
6. Watch for Medication Side Effects
Seniors are also vulnerable to falling after they begin taking a new medication. This is because drug interactions or side effects may include symptoms that make it harder for seniors to maintain their balance, such as dizziness or fatigue.
Always ask for a list of side effects when your senior receives a new medication. This way, you can arrange for them to have assistance with their daily routine until you know how their body reacts.
7. Be Alert After a Hospitalization
After an illness or injury, a senior may be sent home before they are fully recovered. While your loved one may not require medical care, they may still be too weak to perform certain activities — such as getting out of bed safely. Arrange for professional home health care services during this time to prevent a fall during your loved one's recovery.
Our staff at Tri-Valley Personal Home Care Services is trained to promote independence for your senior loved one while keeping a close eye on their safety. Contact us today to find out more ways to prevent fall-related injuries in your loved one's home.