As we age, even the place we know the best can become a hazard. If you are caring for an elderly loved one make sure their home is as well! Knowing what causes falls in the home can help you to prevent them so educate yourself and take steps to ensure that your loved ones are safe.
Always make sure the way is clear! Make sure there is enough room to get around the home without having to step around or over furniture or other items such as pet bowls, shoes, or general clutter. Make sure that all carpets are secure and remove any high pile throw rugs or rugs that are on slippery surfaces.
Clear out any cluttered areas! If the garage, laundry room, or other areas of the home have a high accumulation of clutter, consider re-organizing so that everything is off the floor. The more room your loved one has to walk, the better. While you are organizing, put the most used items in places that are easy to access, for example laundry detergent and other cleaning materials should be easy to reach without stooping or lifting them off high shelves.
Are there any steps in the home? Make sure any areas where climbing needs to occur, including getting into and out of bathtubs or showers, are equipped with grab bars or handles. Having something to hold on to makes getting places a lot easier. Consider the shower area itself as well. If there are no anti-slip features in the shower, buy a mat or have an anti-slip coating applied.
Consider their shoes! Always make sure that shoes fit properly and are easy to walk in. If their shoes are older, consider getting new shoes that have proper traction and support. If your loved one wears slippers around the house, make sure they stay on their feet without having to shuffle or adjust them constantly. If this is not the case consider buying new slippers or having them wear socks with their slippers to prevent them from falling off or slipping.
Another issue to watch out for are the side effects of any medication your loved one is taking. Many medications cause dizziness or light-headedness and could add to instability especially when standing up after sitting for long periods of time or when bending over. Discuss these side-effects with the person your caring for and make sure they take their time getting around the home.
All of these things can add to a senior’s feeling of independence, but it’s never a bad idea to lend a helping hand. Whether you need simple cleaning services or someone to help your loved one around the home, Home Matters is the solution for you! Visit our website to learn more about our senior care at home or contact us to receive information about our services.