Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. Falls threaten seniors’ safety, independence, and cost an enormous amount. In 2015, the total cost of fall injuries was $50 billion.
Here are some simple tips to prevent falls for seniors:
Use Assistive Devices
Using a walker or cane can help with stability while in motion. Here are a few examples of other assistive devices that can help:
Handrails for stairways
Nonslip treads for hardwood floors
A raised toilet seat or one with armrests
Grab bars for the shower or tub
Grab bars attached to the bed
A plastic chair for the shower, paired with a handheld showerhead
Consider reaching out to your doctor for a referral to an occupational therapist. They will be able to brainstorm fall prevention strategies. Some assistive devices are easy and inexpensive to install, while others may require professional help or have a higher cost.
Ample Lighting in Your Living Space
Keep your home brightly lit to avoid trips and falls. You might need to purchase additional freestanding lamps to achieve sufficient brightness in your home.
Here are some additional ways to keep your home brightly lit:
Place dimming night lights in all areas of your home, including your bedroom and hallways
Place a table lamp within arm's length for the middle of the night needs
Make sure there are clear paths to light switches. Consider installing glow in the dark switches instead of traditional light switches for easier navigation
Store flashlights in several areas of your home in case of a power outage
Remove Fall Hazards in the Home
Survey your entire home for tripping hazards, including the bathroom, kitchen, living room, garage, and stairways/hallways. Here are additional ways to keep your home safe:
Secure loose rugs with non-skid material and double-sided tape, tack it down or remove loose rugs altogether
Repair loose hardwood flooring or carpets
Store dishes and food within reach
Use nonslip mats in your bathtub or shower
Clean up spills immediately, especially in the garage or on hardwood floors
Remove lamps, side tables, and items very low to the ground that block walkways
Wear Practical Foot Wear
Consider changing your footwear to prevent falls. Flip-flops, high heels, and slick soled shoes can make you stumble, trip, and slip. Instead, wear properly fitted shoes with support and non-slip soles.
For the aging population, fall prevention means injury prevention. Consider using the above-mentioned tips to ensure your home is on the right track to keep you safe! We offer a Home Safety Assessment here at Care Around the Block, where our certified Age Safe® America Specialist will come and conduct an in-home assessment and provide a list of detailed recommendations. If you are interested in learning more about the Home Safety Assessment check out our website.