Home Safety Makeover: Tips for Preventing Falls

Prevent falls and tripping hazards by assessing your home for dangers and equipping it with safety tools.
Keep lamps and phones within easy reach
Bathroom hazards

The bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in an elderly person’s house. The combination of slippery surfaces and physical instability requires special attention to safety. To make tubs and showers as safe as possible, install safety bars and textured mats. Is standing in the shower uncomfortable? Include a bath bench and a showerhead with detachable hose. Check water heater settings to help avoid the risk of scalding. For those who find it difficult to get in and out of seated positions, raised seats on toilets may be more comfortable.

Tripping dangers
As our vision deteriorates, the risks of tripping and falling increase. Clear away any clutter; move furniture and electrical cords out of high-traffic areas. When designing or redecorating a home, keep in mind that contrast between flooring and walls can make navigation easier. Brightly colored tape can make objects more visible. Is lighting bright throughout the home, especially in entryways, hallways, and the bathroom and kitchen? Consider a lighted cane to illuminate paths.

Area rugs are a tripping hazard at any age. Better is wall-to-wall low-pile carpeting. If you choose not to remove all area rugs, fasten the edges to the floor below with heavy-duty, double-sided tape. For hard floors, use cleaners that don’t leave slippery surfaces. For stairway safety, install railings, ramps if a transport chair is used, or even a seated chair lift if climbing stairs becomes a burden.

Bedroom safety Bedrooms are another area of the home where extra attention is needed to keep a senior safe. Keep a lamp within reach of the bed, and install nightlights along the path to the bathroom. Does your loved one feel cooler because of decreased activity? A safe remedy is layers of blankets, to avoid fire and burn hazards associated with electric blankets or direct heat sources. Use safety railings, and even a safety harness if necessary, to prevent falls from bed.

Tools and products We’re fortunate to live in an age where personal safety devices and tools are readily available. No senior should be without a phone with preprogrammed numbers and a loud ringer. Hearing aids are an important part of home safety, and emergency response systems save lives. For those suffering from lack of mobility, consider the broad range of tools available, from reaching devices to transport chairs.

For a complimentary guide to preventing falls, “It All Starts With a Fall,” call The CareGiver Partnership at 800-985-1353 or request one by e-mailing info@caregiverpartnership.com.

Lynn Wilson founded The CareGiver Partnership based on her experience in caring for loved ones as well as providing the highest level of customer service. She is so passionate about providing excellent customer service, she’s written the book on it — literally. See it at http://www.caregiverpartnership.com/landing/negotiate-anything. She takes pride in offering personalized service that helps her customers find the best solutions for their individual needs. Now that her children are grown, Lynn enjoys spending time with her granddaughter while also helping to care for her mom. To find out how The CareGiver Partnership can serve you, call 1-800-985-1353 M-F 9-4 CDT or visit http://caregiverpartnership.com/.


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