Every year thousands of senior citizens are killed, seriously disabled or hospitalized from falls at home. Â The good news is so many of these accidents can be easily avoided with just some simple modifications. Here’s how you can make the home safer for your aging loved ones
Get a Grip. So many accidents occur in the home andÂ especiallyÂ in the bathroom. A good percentage of these accidents can be prevented by installing grips and handles. Suction cup grips for the bathtub are a quick fix but for real security install grips with secure anchors. Â Be sure to secure these grips to the wooden studs inside your wall and not just into theÂ sheet rock. Â The longer the screw, the stronger the anchor. Use long, galvanized or brass screws to avoid rust.
Let There Be Light. Dimly lighted rooms and hallways cause accidents. While low wattage bulbs can save money on electricity, a fractured hip will cost much more. Use bright, long burning energy efficient bulbs. A long burning bulb will reduce the number of times your specialÂ seniorÂ citizen will Â have to climb up to replace burned out ones. Install night lights in hallways. IfÂ practical, have a motion detector light switch that activates in hallways.
Slip Proof Socks. Buy a bunch of slipper socks for your elderly relative. As we get older we tend to feel colder and seniors like to keep their feet warm. The trouble is that when you wear socks to bed your feet will have less traction when you get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. Socks and tile floors are a bad combination. A pair of slipper socks will give you plenty of warmth and extra traction on smooth surfaces. Instead of hoping that your mom or dad will start wearing slippers – give them slipper socks. Order Traction Sole Slipper Socks
Bed Canes. A bed cane helps people sit up in bed and get their feet on the ground without sliding off the mattress. It looks like a short bed guard that you mount under the mattress. The arm of the device gives the senior something to pull themselves up on and gives them a grip to hold onto as they stand. They’re so inexpensive and easy to install that no elderly person’s bed should be without one. Order Bed Cane
Floor Check. Remove any and all throw rugs right away. Install wall to wall carpeting instead. If that isn’tÂ practical then secure all rugs to the floor and check for loose corners. Between tripping and slipping throw rugs are horrible for senior citizens. Whenever possible get rid of them.
Clutter Patrol. Does your aging relative have lots and lots of “things?” My dad was an awful pack rat – he hated to throw anything out. We ended up asking for some of these items for our own use. he was happy to give things away if others could use them and so we managed to get rid of some of his clutter by appealing to his desire to help others. What ever you have to do or say, keep them safe I say – get rid of clutter. Keep walk ways clear.
Med Check. Many fallÂ accidentsÂ don’t come from tripping or slipping, they’re the result of dizziness. Dizzy spells can beÂ eliminatedÂ or reduced just by changing medications. Ask your doctor to review your prescriptions. Some drugs can cause fainting or vertigo,Â especiallyÂ when combined with the wrongÂ foods,Â alcohol or other meds. A change in prescriptions or diet can stop dizziness and falls.
Even with the most careful of plans, accidents still happen. Make sure you protect your loved one with a medical alert system. If they do fall all they have to do is push a button to be connected with help. Remember, the sooner they can get help the better are their odds of surviving and recovering from a fall.
Be sure to read the special report onÂ Med Alert systems that can save a senior’s life.