It can be hard to watch our parents age. It ‘s completely understandable that so many elderly wish to stay in their home as long as possible. Part of making this possible is staying safe in order to avoid falls. The following are some of the most common safety hazards to watch for when performing your safety assessment.
-Trip hazards such as rugs and extension cords-Rugs and extension cords are probably two of the most common trip hazards, particularly if the person uses a walker to get around. Try and eliminate extension cords or secure them to the wall. If you have to use rugs, use non slip pads underneath to help prevent too much movement.
-Lighting–As we age, our vision often deteriorates. Make sure the house is equipped with plenty of light, including night lights to avoid injury from a fall.
-Clutter-As we age, it’s easy to let clutter pile up, especially if you lives in the same house for a very long time. Make sure walkways are clear and eliminate extra clutter when possible to help your loved one find the things they actually need.
-Bathrooms-Bathing and toileting are both areas that have potential for falls. Install grab bars in the bath/shower and at the toilet and if possible, install an ADA height toilet. Also make sure to install non-slip mats or stick-ons in the bathtub/shower. A shower chair or bench is also helpful. You may want one inside the shower and one outside the shower where it’s easy to dry off, dress, apply lotion, etc.
-Smoke detectors–Smoke detector batteries should be changed annually. Make sure batteries are up to date and if there isn’t at least one carbon monoxide tester in the house, consider installing one.
by Amanda Christesson-Graham