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Senior Care: How Can I Make My Home Safer For Seniors

Jun 18, 2018 by Stephanie Howe - Owner, Comfort Keepers

Making a Safe Home for Your Loved One

Most seniors prefer the familiarity and comfort of their own home to that of a nursing or retirement home. In fact, nearly a third of seniors live independently. This sense of independence is vital to mental well-being.

 

However, some safety hazards accompany living alone or outside of a care facility as a senior. Depression and isolation are common amongst those who live alone and fail to engage with their community, but more so, memory problems and physical handicaps prove to be dangerous. Simple household tasks take on a new difficulty with age.

 

Falling seems to be the greatest danger posed in the face of these tasks. Fall risk prevention is essential, and here are some ways to reduce risks.

 

Why Seniors Are at Risk of Falling

With age, physical health declines. Muscles weaken. Joints stiffen. Arthritis often sets in, shortening ligaments and making it difficult to move. Falling becomes nearly inevitable. Other factors that contribute to falls include:

  • Poor eyesight
  • Being overweight
  • Joint and bone conditions
  • Dehydration
  • Memory issues, often caused by dementia and Alzheimer’s
  • Side effects of blood pressure medications
  • Loss of feeling in feet and toes, usually after sitting down for too long

 

Fall Risk Prevention

Most people aren’t on guard in their own homes, making it easy to fall accidentally. Having reliable senior care and taking several other precautions can help keep this from happening. Some measures that prove successful are:

 

  • Removing all articles that block walkways. Items like this include pet bowls and toys, small furniture, clutter, cords, and wires.
  • Rearranging larger furniture so that there is more walking space. Clearing all pathways, especially in hallways and on stairs
  • Getting rid of throw rugs or securing them to the floor so as not to trip over the corners
  • Installing non-slip strips on your floors and stairs but especially in your bathrooms, shower or bathtub. (They can be purchased at your local hardware store.)
  • Installing better lighting, making sure all walkways are fully illuminated in kitchens, bedrooms, hallways, and bathrooms, especially the entrances to each of these rooms
  • Walking diligently, paying close attention, especially outdoors and in lousy weather (Try not to walk alone. Employ the help of a family member or in-home caregiver.)

 

What to Do If a Fall Occurs

Falls can happen even to the fittest and most careful seniors. If one does occur, do not try to stand up on your own afterward. This could result in further injury, worsening any already potential bone breakage or muscle tears.

 

You should immediately call for help, especially if you’re experiencing pain and may be injured. Make this easy for yourself by keeping a cell phone or emergency pendant on your person.

 

It’s essential to visit a doctor after a fall, even if the pain doesn’t seem too excruciating. Some injuries may not prove as evident as others, and it’s important to discover and treat them right away. The fall could also be a result of a previously unknown condition, and you would benefit from being diagnosed.

 

How Comfort Keepers Can Help

In addition to these fall risk preventative measures, you can also employ the help of Comfort Keepers. Our home care services are a valuable asset in not only making your home a safer environment but also providing the assistance necessary to avoid injury when completing household tasks. Our in-home caregivers are determined to keep you safe and help you maintain your independence in the comfort of your own home.

 

We provide everything from general in-home care to more intensive dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease care. Your safety and comfort is our most significant concern, and we take pride in helping you cook meals, socialize and continue your routine without fear of falling. If you or someone you know could benefit from our in-home care solutions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 732-557-0010.

 

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