We talk about workplace Fall Safety often, but what about at home? It’s not a secret, the cost of senior living continues to rise. For this reason, more people are wanting to revamp their homes for aging in place. In some cases, seniors are selling their homes to buy a new home that has either already been modified or will cost less to modify, compared with their current situation.
One of the biggest issues with seniors staying home as they continue to age, is that of safety within the home. A big problem is the common occurrences of seniors falling. Each year, 2.5 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries. Most of these falls happen at home because home is where we feel the most comfortable and let our guard down.
Here are a few of the major causes of seniors falling:
Lower body strength: As we age, our bodies start to lose strength, making simple tasks, such as walking up stairs, more difficult.
Use of medications: Sedatives and antidepressants can cause dizziness and a loss of balance.
Loss of vision: If you can’t see what is around you, you’re more likely to fall. It’s important to keep a spare pair of glasses by your bed.
Home hazards: Smaller tables and furniture, throw rugs and clutter that can be tripped over.
Now that we know some of the reasons why seniors fall, we ask ourselves how can we help to fix it? Let’s go over ways to help seniors understand when they might fall and how to help keep it from happening.
Have you fallen before?
This is an extremely important question to ask that most people don’t think about asking. Documentation always helps people to answer three questions; how, when, and why. Writing it down gives a person something to refer to and hopefully not make the same mistake.
Continue to be active and get exercise
While it can be difficult for a senior to go on a long run or even to the gym, there are many other fun activities to help seniors stay active. Playing golf is a great source of exercise and a great game to play at the same time. If the weather doesn’t allow you to golf, an exercise bike is a great source of exercise and doesn’t put much stress on your joints.
Purchase supportive shoes
We all have shoes that don’t have much support. As we age and start to lose muscle and our bodies weaken, the importance of wearing supportive shoes becomes even more relevant. Stick with shoes that are comfortable and support your ankles. Think about the last time you wore high top shoes and how it had the same sensation as if your ankle were taped. Had lots of support right?
Light up your living space
How many times, not at any given age, have you ran into something in your house because it was too dark, even when you know it’s there? Lighting up your living space always allows you to see what is going on around you and what is out of place.
It’s a good recommendation to use adjustable lighting. This allows you to have as much as needed for every occasion.
Remove all home hazards
Do a massive overhaul of the home and get rid of any hazards that you may find. Here is a great home safety checklist for older consumers.
Falling will continue to be an issue for seniors, but the more we do to educate ourselves on how to be proactive, the better we will be at helping ourselves and our loved ones to not fall and severely injure themselves.