As you grow older, you experience a decrease in strength that can affect your balance. About one-third of the senior population experiences a major slip or fall every year. Combined with increasing bone fragility, this can have painful or even fatal consequences: the CDC reports that falls are the leading cause of death for older Americans.
Thankfully, it’s easy to reduce your risk of falls. Follow these steps to protect yourself and your loved ones!
1. Clean Up Clutter
The accumulation of clutter can make navigating narrow paths difficult. In extreme situations, excessive clutter can fall along with the senior, trapping them underneath.
Make sure to keep your home clutter-free. If clutter accumulates to the point where it becomes a problem and you’re unable to remove it yourself, deal with the problem by calling a loved one or hiring someone to help. Your safety is paramount.
2. Avoid Stairs
Stairs can be physically challenging and a major source of slips and falls, especially as both balance and eyesight fail. As you or your loved one grows older, consider moving out of a multi-story residence and into a single-story home. Additional tip: avoid DIY projects or home maintenance that involves a ladder (even a two-step ladder). The additional height can make a fall that much more detrimental.
3. Non-Slip Bathrooms – and Poolsides
Many falls happen in showers and bathtubs, thanks to slippery tile and porcelain surfaces. To avoid this situation, consider installing preventative measures like a shower chair, a hand-held shower head, and slip mats both inside and outside the tub or shower.
Poolsides can be a source of slips and falls, too, especially in summer and with grandkids around! Make sure everyone towels off when they come out of the pool, so they don’t leave treacherous puddles around. If you find a puddle, mop it up or have someone help.
4. Light It Up
It’s difficult to find your footing in the dark, especially in a narrow hallway or a steep stairwell. This gets especially tricky because many seniors experience a more frequent need to urinate during the night.
Make sure all light switches in a hallway work, and replace any burnt-out bulbs. Consider installing night lights in bedrooms and hallways.
5. Reinforce Walker Use
A walker can be of great assistance to anyone who isn’t steady on their feet. You can put a basket on it (like you might see on a kid’s bike) to carry a cell phone or other items. Tennis balls can be added to the two back legs of the walker to allow it to slide easier on tile and carpet and help prevent the legs from sinking into the soil.
As people age, their rate of dangerous falls increases. By taking a few steps to protect your home or your loved one’s home, you’ll minimize the chances of serious injury, and increase comfort and mobility. Please feel free to offer up any additional tips that you have found helpful in the comments!
Angel Companions serves all 27 Greater Atlanta counties and helps prevent slip and fall accidents in the home of you or your love ones. We provide part or full-time care and companionship to make sure you stay safe and happy in your home! If you have any questions please use our contact page form or call us today at 770-579-5000!