Today we wanted to talk about fall prevention tips.
We honestly couldn’t remember if we did a speicifc podcast on this topic and easy ways to prevent falls in the house.
There is no doubt in my mind we have talked about all these issues at some point in time, but we are up to 90 podcasts – so I’m not sure!
So if we did one on this, it’s a perfect refresher for the end of the year, when it gets colder, and people are in the homes more than being outside.
So here are nine ways to prevent falls in a home.
GET RID OF THEM. They are a tripping hazard for everyone, but especially seniors.
As seniors age and have trouble walking, they don’t pick up their feet as much as when they were younger. The lip of the rug is what an older person trips on and then falls.
Also, do not take the rugs and put them in the basement or the closet. Take them out of the home, throw them in the trash, or donate them. The reason being is, people don’t like change, and they will agree to put the rugs away, then they will put them back once you leave.
Anywhere you think a senior needs grab bars, put them. The bathroom and shower are the most common areas where grab bars are utilized.
Seniors have difficulty getting up from the toilet so the need a grab bar to provide them the support to lift up.
As for showers, they are slippery while in them. Additionally, lifting their leg up and over the tub can provide an opportunity to fall, so grab bars are installed on the wall just outside the shower.
Finally, do not settle with a suction cup grab bar. Get the ones that are screwed into the wall. All it takes is one time to for them to fail and there is a catastrophic injury.
Raised Toilet Seat
Going back to our previous topic on grab bars, when seniors have difficulty getting up from sitting on the toilet, a raised toilet seat can help. This allows them to sit higher up, requiring less strength and balance to get up from the seat.
Raised toilet seats are often used with grab bars to help with this problem.
Reinforce Existing Hand Rails
We all use handrails going up and down stairs. Usually, this is for some light help with balance, but for a senior, it can be the difference between falling or not.
When going up and down stairs, especially going up a level or two, it is worthwhile paying someone to reinforce the handrails they use for support.
With handrails outside, make sure the paint is not flaking which could cut someone’s hand. Additionally, make sure the steel railings are sturdy in the concrete wh.ich will inevitably support the weight of your parent.
Chairs Are The Appropriate Height
Similar to the raised toilet seat, you need to make sure that the dining room chairs and recliners are an appropriate height for them.
The won’t be grab bars next to every seat in the house, so using pads to increase the height of a chair is an affordable solution, or you could replace the chair altogether.
We have had some clients say they use throw rugs to prevent water from causing a slipping hazard in the kitchen.
Going on Amazon, you can find a lot of thin anti-skid mats and pads that can be used in the bathroom and kitchen to prevent slips while keeping a low profile to limit the tripping hazard.
A shower chair is a must when getting older and losing your balance. The shower chair allows someone to be able to sit while cleaning themselves all but ensures that someone will not fall while in the shower.
Combine that with a grab bar for getting up and in and out of the shower and your areas protected as one can get without doing renovations to the shower itself.
Ice Melt/Snow Removal
Ice melt and paying for snow removal can save yourself from getting the call about a nasty call. Each year we get a call from a family that didn’t think they needed the ice melt and someone fell.
Many people pay a snow plow to come and clear the driveway; it might be worthwhile paying them (or a neighborhood kid) to come by and throw ice melt on the stairs and walkways of the home to make it much safer.
I own a Havanese dog; they are a small toy dog around 10 pounds. While I love the little guy, I trip over him once a week.
When you own any ground animals, let alone small ones like cats and dogs, they can become tripping hazards. It might be worthwhile postponing, limiting or even removing an animal from the home to prevent them from becoming a problem in the future.
It is never easy removing a pet from the home, the best option is if a pet passes away is not to replace it if someone is getting up there in age.
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