According to the National Council on Aging, every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall. And most—if not all—of these falls can be prevented.
Older adults are at a higher risk of falls for a number of reasons, ranging from decreased mobility to certain medications. But there are steps you can take to limit fall risk, and our Qualicare team wants to share a few.
How to Help With Fall Prevention
For older adults living in the comfort of home, it’s vitally important to make the home as fall-safe as possible.
First, you want to make sure to clean up any clutter. Spaces that are packed with things like newspapers, books and other common, everyday items are filled with fall hazards. Anything that’s lying on the floor has the potential to trip someone up.
It’s especially important to keep hallways and staircases clutter-free. Don’t just look for stray items, either—also look for potential tripping hazards like loose carpet or rugs.
Second, take a look at the lighting in the home. Are certain areas dimly light, making it difficult to see? To help alleviate the risk of falls, place lighting strategically throughout the home, paying particular attention to dim places where natural light doesn’t reach. Remember to also light up outdoor spaces like the patio or sidewalk.
Finally, add handrails where appropriate. If you have stairs inside the home, they should have easily grip-able handrails on both sides. Stairs outside the home also need handrails.
Beyond the stairs—an older adult may also find handrails helpful in the bathroom, both in the toilet area and in the shower.
These can be particularly beneficial in the shower and/or bathtub. Older adults are often unsteady on their feet, and when you add water to the mix, things get slippery and fall risk increases. Install a handrail to give them something to grip when getting in or out of the tub or shower.
Are you nervous about your loved one falling when left alone? Visit the Qualicare website today to learn how our in-home care providers can help with fall prevention.