While experiencing a fall is dangerous for all of us, for an older adult, a fall can be truly devastating, with serious injuries like hip fractures alarmingly prevalent. In fact, as many as a full 25% of all older adults who experience a fractured hip as a result of falling die within six months of the fracture; a disturbing, but preventable statistic.
Making some simple modifications to a senior loved one’s home can go a long way towards creating a safer environment and assisting with fall prevention. Below are some home modification ideas you can start implementing today from the top provider of senior home care services at Senior HomeCare of Tucson:
- Replace light bulbs regularly to ensure there is adequate lighting throughout the older adult’s home
- Utilize nightlights and/or motion detecting lights for maximum visibility at night
- Be careful with how lights are plugged in, making certain there are no electrical or extension cords stretched across walking paths in the home
- Use only low pile carpet or slip-proof tile throughout the home
- Take out all throw rugs, or ensure they’re securely affixed with non-slip tape
- Make use of contrasting colors for paint, furniture and carpeting to more clearly indicate changes in surface types or levels
- Never polish floors with wax or other types of floor polish
- Make sure there are grab bars attached securely to walls around the tub and near the toilet, sturdy enough to hold firmly when supporting an adult’s full body weight
- Add slip-proof mats or strips in and around the shower and tub
- Install a wall-mounted liquid soap dispenser on the shower wall, along with a portable, hand-held shower head
- Use a padded shower or bath seat
There are also a variety of products available that will further help with fall prevention for older adults at home, such as:
- Alarms: If your loved one has Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia and has a tendency to wander, especially at night, alarms on the doors can alert you or the older person’s caregiver that he or she is attempting to leave and may be in danger of falling.
- Monitoring Systems: Monitoring systems are a great way to help track a senior’s movements throughout the home. Sensors are positioned strategically around the house, and in some cases can even include calling capabilities, allowing the older adult to alert his/her caregiver in the event of a fall or other emergency situation.
- Fall Prevention Footwear: With rubber grips on the bottom to help prevent slips and falls, these products are wonderful for seniors who are at an elevated risk for falls. You can even find waterproof, slip-resistant socks that the senior can wear in the bath or shower.
- Railings: Many older adults fall during the night, when getting up to go to a different room in the home. Railings on the bed can prevent a senior from falling out of bed and provide something to hold onto when standing up to get out of bed.
With the majority of older adults preferring to age in place at home rather than facing a move to a nursing home, it’s crucial to ensure the home environment is as safe as possible. The professional home care team at Senior HomeCare of Tucson can help families assess fall risk in a senior loved one’s home, suggest home modifications, and provide the skilled, compassionate care older adults need. Contact us today to learn more about our Catalina home health care services and the communities we serve. View our service area or call 520-355-4787 to get started.