For younger people, a typical fall might result in some bruising and discomfort, but usually not much worse than that. For older adults, one fall could lead to broken bones and other serious injuries that take weeks or months to heal. Fortunately, most falls can be prevented with some simple precautions. Here are a few steps Elder Care Alliance recommends you take to reduce your loved one’s risk of falling.
Install Grab Bars in Slippery Areas
Caregivers can go a long way to enhance safety for the older people in their care by installing grab bars. This is especially important in bathtubs, showers and any other areas that can become slippery. Grab bars should also be installed near the toilet to help the person stand up after using the bathroom. The extra support grab bars offer will help reduce the risk of falling.
Decrease Dark Areas in the Home
Most homes have areas that are darker and more shadowed than others. Such spaces don’t pose much risk for someone with exceptional eyesight but can become a significant tripping hazard for older adults without crisp vision. Install floor lamps, table lamps, or additional overhead lighting to eliminate dark spots throughout the home.
Provide Shoes With No-Skid Soles
Some shoes provide much better traction than others. Most people rarely consider how stable shoe soles are when purchasing footwear. But for an older adult, footwear traction is very important for avoiding slips and falls. When helping your loved one select new footwear, always check to make sure the shoes in question have no-skid soles. Non-slippery shoes can help older adults walk on all surfaces with greater stability.
Ensure Throw Rugs Are Not Slippery
If you have wood, tile or other hard floor surfaces in your home, you have probably installed at least one throw rug for comfort and noise reduction. But remember, throw rugs can be tripping hazards if they aren’t secured snuggly. Most throw rugs slide around quite easily on the floor and can increase your loved one’s risk of falling exponentially.
If possible, remove throw rugs from your home. At the very least, use carpet tape to secure them. Inspect your throw rugs regularly to ensure no corners start lifting. If they do, install new carpet tape or invest in replacement rugs.
Schedule Regular Eye Appointments
Older adults often struggle with their eyesight. Common age-related eye issues include glaucoma, cataracts and progressive vision changes. If your loved one can’t adequately see what’s in front of them, they’re more likely to slip or trip and fall. Help your loved one see more clearly by scheduling regular eye appointments.
Encourage an Exercise and Stretching Routine
Maintaining mobility and staying flexible can go a long way toward preventing falls. To prevent the mobility restrictions that often come with aging, encourage your loved one to exercise and stretch every day.
Our Elder Care Alliance communities go above and beyond to reduce tripping hazards in our facilities. If you’re looking for a safe environment for your loved one, you can rest assured that we take the steps necessary to ensure a secure and comfortable living environment for the older adults in our care.