7 Tips for Senior Night Safety

Lighting is the key for seniors to navigate their homes at night. 
Unless you are a senior or a caregiver for a senior, you may be surprised to learn falls are the number one cause of accidents for the elderly. Worse yet, studies show when a senior has a serious enough fall to warrant hospitalization their stay is often longer and more costly then seniors being admitted for any other reason. Even if the senior does not have to go to the hospital, they can often be left with life changing injuries that dramatically affect their quality of life. It is also important to note many of these falls occur at night. For these reasons it becomes crucial that any caregiver or concerned family member know all they can about how to prevent senior falls. Here are 7 tips for senior night safety-

1. Lighting is the key-It may seem like common sense that lighting is important however, many seniors simply do not have enough lighting or even strong enough eyesight to navigate their homes at night. Today, there is no reason to have this happen. There are lighting systems which have motion sensors so when the senior gets up at night they will automatically come on. These lights can be placed throughout the home so the individual can easily move from room to room no matter the time of day or night.

2. Prevent slips-Many older individuals do not have the strength to prevent slips. It is important to go through the home and look for potential slip hazards. Removing rugs, taking out slippery floor material(replacing it with non-skid), and making sure all floors are straight and even can go a long way toward preventing night falls.

3. Provide safety-Many times seniors will slip and fall when arising from bed or trying to sit down on the toilet at night. This can be easily remedied by installing grab bars and handles which can help them becomes steadier as they move from bed to bathroom.

4. Look for obstacles-Keep in mind the same path around the home during the day can become an obstacle course at night. Take the time to look through the senior’s home at night and see if there is furniture or other objects which can become barriers to safely moving through the home at night. Sometimes all it takes is just moving something a little to make the home a whole lot safer.

5. Provide a way for help-Nearly everyday there are stories concerning seniors who have slipped and fallen and are not found for hours or even days. To prevent this from happening consider installing a warning system which will allow your senior to access help even if they have fallen. This can be anything from a bracelet or necklace which can be set off for help or a complete video system that allows someone to see if they have fallen.

6. Consider the clothes they wear-Seniors often have certain nighttime habits and one of those may be what they wear to bed. However, those slippers (no matter how pretty), can be a fall hazard if the soles are too slippery or the heels to high. Bedclothes can catch on objects and easily pull a fragile senior done. While it may be hard to discuss with a parent or other loved one, helping them select the right nighttime clothes can offer them another layer of safety. 

7. Realize there is no one size fits all solution-Finally it is important to keep in mind each person will have specific needs which can help to prevent falls of any kind. Taking the time to assess each individual’s needs is crucial.

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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visithttp://www.caregiverpartnership.com to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


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