One thing we all want to do is keep our loved ones safe while they are at home. After all, if there is one place you should feel secure, it is in the comfort of your own house. When our parents get older, one thing we worry about is the potential for them to have a fall. Unfortunately, a scary amount of senior citizens fall every year, and this can result in millions of emergency room visits and hospitalizations on an annual basis. We don’t want this to happen to your parents, so read on for the ultimate fall prevention checklist for seniors.
There are numerous steps you can take to fall-proof your home, and below we have put together five tips to help you get started:
- Use handrails – One of the most dangerous places in the home for seniors is the stairs. Make sure your parents use the handrail when they are going up and downstairs. There are some great aids on the market to assist with this. Not only can you invest in special handrails that are easier to grip on, but you could also consider a stairlift, meaning your parents do not have to worry about walking up and down the stairs ever again.
- Good lighting – Now would be a good time to invest in high-quality lighting. Making sure your parent’s house is well lit is one of the most simple and effective ways to prevent falls from occurring. It is important to have a living space with ample light, as eyesight diminishes with age. Consider all areas of the house when implementing top-quality lighting, from the outdoor walkways and stairs to every room and all entrances.
- Use non-slip items – You should also invest in non-slip items for the bathroom. On the floor of the shower or bathtub, make sure you place a non-slip rubber mat or strips to avoid accidents. You can also invest in special handrails to help your parents get in and out of the bath. It gives them something to hold onto, so they do not slip while trying to get in and out.
- Create clear walking paths – You should arrange the furniture so that your parents have plenty of room to walk freely. Remove all items from the hallways or stairs that could get in the way and be a tripping hazard. Everyday clutter and small furniture can cause slips and trips; so the best thing to do is simply get rid of things like this. You may also want to install aluminum ramps up to the front door and back door.
- Clear the floor of cords and avoid scatter rugs – We have all done it before; tripped over a phone charger or a laptop wire. This is a risk you cannot afford to take with your elderly parents. Make sure that there are not any cords on the floor that could be a hazard, and do not use scatter rugs, as your parents could easily trip over them.
Hopefully, you now have the information you need to begin the process of making your parent’s home fall-proof. Remember, it is not just about making the home as safe as possible, but preventative care can also help too. It is very important to encourage your parents to stay physically active and to eat right. By doing this, they can improve their condition, balance, and overall health. Lower-body strength exercises, in particular, are important, as they can help to stop falls from occurring.