How safe is your home? Falls are identified as being the number-one cause of injuries among the older population; many times, falls are fatal for seniors. Make sure that your home is set up to reduce the risk of falling and decrease the chance of an injury. Some tips include seeing your doctor regularly, maintaining healthy life habits, clearing up your living situation, and using mobility or assistive devices in the home. Need more help? Ask your primary physician about a referral for occupational therapy services and assessment.
Part of staying safe in the home includes doing whatever is needed to reduce the risk of a fall. This is applicable to anyone who is getting older but most particularly to those with some sort of physical limitation, disability, or medical issue. It is estimated that one out of three older Americans will fall this year, but only around half of those that fall go to or speak to their doctor about the incident. Falls comprise the main cause of injury among seniors, including injuries that lead to death. Professionals agree that mobility aids can reduce the risk of falling, thus decreasing related injuries and damages- discuss the wide range of options with a mobility aid professional today.
Consider these tips to set your home up to reduce the risk of a fall:
See your Doctor
It is important that you see your doctor or practitioner regularly as you get older for preventative care and medication management, as needed. Your provider will be able to identify any drug interactions or factors that could contribute to you taking a nasty fall.
Want to prevent a fall? Stay active and flexible as you age. Make sure that you get some type of physical activity each and every day, while also keeping your weight within a healthy range. Again, visits to your primary physician can tease out what this weight should be as well as the best diet to serve your nutritional needs at this stage in life.
Take your Time
Many chances of a fall could easily be reduced by simply taking more time when standing and moving around the home. When standing up from a seated position, you can reduce your risks by keeping both hands free; that is, put down anything in your hands and use them, instead, for stability when rising.
Get Rid of Risks
Get rid of clutter, belongings, or items that could be hazards and cause a fall in the home. This includes rugs, cords, wires, and stuff that is taking up space or that could be in the main pathways through the home. It may help to hire or enlist someone to assist with decluttering.
Upgrade the Lighting
A lot of falls are due to poor lighting; how is the lighting around your home? Stairways are a particular safety issue and deserve lighting improvements with switches convenient to both the bottom and top of the staircase. LED bulbs illuminate better than traditional incandescent and are far more energy-efficient and cool to the touch.
Watch What you Wear
Another way to curb the risks around your home is to watch what you wear. Try to avoid loose garb that could potentially fetch-up and cause you to fall. Also, wear sensible shoes that will provide the stability needed to traverse the floors of the home- and wherever else you happen to go!
Look for Nonslip Surfaces
Invest in nonslip surfaces underfoot, like bathmats, nonskid runners, or stair treads. These simple solutions can improve the safety of moving around the home greatly. These may also help prevent the fall or accident of a guest in your home, making these prudent updates that are also inexpensive to implement.
Live on One Level
Does your home have stairs? Does it make more sense to live on one level? If this is a feasible option, then it can also greatly improve access and prevent falls for seniors living in their own homes.
Use Mobility Aids
Did you know that mobility or assistive aids, like handrails, can prevent many falls in the home? Whether you are in need of a simple grab bar or handrail, or if you are looking to invest in major mobility improvements, like stairlifts, a visit to an area professional can help identify the best equipment for your distinct physical condition and living situation.
If you are not sure what you need to help reduce your risks around the home- or if you are concerned about falling- ask your physician to make a referral to an occupational therapist. This practitioner can assess your needs and make suggestions about solutions that curb the risk of fall or injury at home.
Make sure that your home is set up to reduce any risk of a nasty fall; use these tips and talk to a professional at Pacific Mobility to check out aids and assistive devices or to learn more!
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)