There are several ways to protect seniors from falls. The practical methods include taking a close look at the structural surroundings of the senior. This includes improving lighting in and around the home and garage for better visibility and checking steps and walkways to ensure they are smooth and flat. Entry landings, doors and hallways should be clear of any and all tripping hazards as well as all rooms in the home. Closets should have secure shelving and good lighting and basements require extra attention as well.
Falls are the leading cause of death for seniors aged 65 and older with one in three suffering some kind of fall each year. Out of those falls, one in five results in serious injury. Statistics from the National Center for Health Stats states that from 2000 to 2013 the number of deaths from falls had increased. The figure went from 29.6 per 100,000 seniors to 56.7 with falls now responsible for 55-percent of all deaths to seniors.
So, how can you add extra security to the home of your senior parent or friend to prevent them from becoming injured? There are practical ways – noted above – plus some hidden, not so obvious ways. Let’s take a closer look at the often invisible causes of falls and see how they can be cleaned up to prevent an injury.
1 – Footwear
This is easily the most important element that can prevent a serious fall. While the tendency is to walk around the inside of a home in either just socks or in slippers with smooth soles, these are considered tripping and falling hazards. Wearing shoes that fit properly with non-slip soles will prevent many mishaps.
2 – Pets
Sadly, about 86-thousand fall injuries in the home every year can be directly related to a pet. There are ways to keep these falls from happening and they include keeping pet toys stored away when not in use, removing spilled water or food from feeding dishes and to have your pets trained to not jump up or running through your legs when you are walking or on stairs.
3 – Bathroom
Of all the rooms in the home, the most common one for slips and falls is the bathroom. Ways to eliminate the danger include slip-proof mats in the bathtub, shower and in front of the vanity. Grab bars are an extra piece of security allowing for anything from steadying you on your feet to helping you in or out of part of the bathroom. A night light is also effective at night when vision may not be at its best.
4 – Exercise
One way to keep you strong and flexible, even up to and beyond the age of 65, is to exercise. This means through low-impact programs that incorporate a lot of stretching into the routines. Studies verify that exercise not only improves balance but can keep you active and mobile therefore reducing the risk of falling and sustaining an injury.
There are so many ways to protect seniors from falls and each and every one of them can assist your senior friend or parent in avoiding a possible slip, trip or fall. The best part is that tripping and falling hazards can be removed making many of these serious injuries preventable.
Now that you have an idea of how to keep your friends and family safe from harm, why would you hesitate to offer this valuable service to the seniors in your community? These senior home safety checkups are in demand, and can bring between $60 and $200 for an hour or two of work. To discover more, read my guide, Start Your Own Senior Home Safety Consulting Business.