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Trips and falls are the most common kinds of accidents in the home, and they can have devastating consequences, particularly for the elderly. These simple tips can help you keep mom and dad safe at home.
Take a look at each room in your mom or dad’s home and arrange furniture to create an unobstructed route around and through the room.
Remove stray objects that can cause trips and falls, such as shoes, books and laundry baskets. Move electrical wires out of walkways or tape them down. If you run a cord under a rug, be sure it has a non-slip pad underneath. A good rule of thumb? If something doesn’t need to be there, remove it.
Be sure stairways are well lit and use nightlights in hallways, the bedroom and the bathroom. If an outlet isn’t available, use battery-powered push-lights. Remember, too, the type of lighting is important—fluorescent, halogen and overhead lighting can be too bright for the elderly; use a table lamp when possible.
In addition to having proper lighting on stairways, sturdy railings are a must. If your loved one uses a walker or cane, keep one on each level so it need not be carried up and down the stairs.
Make sure your loved one always uses his or her walker, cane or other assistive devices. Also make sure he or she wears proper footwear with rubberized soles and a closed back. If your loved one has trouble bending over to put on his or her shoes, invest in a good-quality shoehorn or reacher to make putting them on easier. Install grab bars wherever extra support might be needed, such as in the bathroom and the shower. (Remember: a towel bar wasn’t designed to support body weight.)
Talk to your loved one’s doctor about exercises that suit his or her physical condition. Getting stronger can go a long way toward preventing trips and falls.
Trips and falls are the most common type of accident in the home, especially for the elderly. This video shows the simple changes that can help you make mom or dad’s home safer and give you peace of mind.
For the elderly, the bathroom can be one of the most dangerous rooms in the house. This video provides step-by-step instructions on how to safety-proof the bathroom so mom or dad stays out of harm’s way and as independent as possible.
Healthy, Safe Living for Seniors