Did you know? Seniors are involved in more than 2.3 million accidents in their homes each year.
While many seniors prefer to live independently, some homes are poorly designed to meet their needs. Falls are the number one safety risk for older adults – nearly one third of the senior population fall each year with 70% of falls occurring at home. Older adults need to take extra safety precautions due to physical changes that occur during the aging process, such as declining vision, hearing, sense of touch and smell, and bone density loss. These factors increase the risk of injury inside the home.
What can you do to reduce the risk of injury for yourself or your loved one? First, carefully survey their home for safety hazards. Here are just a few examples;
- Remove all scatter rugs, repair frayed carpet, tape or tack down loose carpet edges.
- Arrange furniture to allow adequate space for safe walking between and within all rooms.
- Place safety strips or a non-skid mat in bathtub/shower and install grab bars – do not use soap dishes or towel racks for support when sitting or standing.
- Keep closet doors and drawers closed to prevent bruises or tripping.
- Keep walking aids within reach and keep a nightlight on or flashlight within reach of your bed.
Other factors to keep in mind – the medicine cabinet and kitchen. As seniors may become forgetful, remembering things like expiration dates is difficult. Some ways caregivers can help in this area include;
- Store sharp knives in a rack.
- Use a kettle with an automatic shut-off.
- Store hazardous items separate from food.
- Make sure food is rotated regularly and check expiration dates
- Review your medicines frequently with your doctor or pharmacist and when you take new medication.
- Make sure medicines are clearly labeled.
- Read medicine labels in good light to ensure you have the right medicine and always take the correct dose.
- Dispose of any old or used medicines.
We agree that when possible, caring for seniors at home is best. Over 90% of seniors prefer to stay in their own homes, but its important to work with caregivers to make sure home remains safe and hazard free for our loved ones.