Safety for Your Elderly Parents at Home
Caring for Elderly Your Parents at Home:
Safety Tips for Families
Home Safety for Elderly Parents
Considering fall safety and safe-proofing your caring for elderly parents at home nyc should be the priority you think of when beginning the process of aging with your parents. In fact, if your elderly parent makes frequent visits to your home, you should consider safe-proofing your own house as well.
Falls are very important to prevent. For the elderly, falls are the leading cause of injury-related visits to emergency departments. More than 90% of hip fractures are associated with fall-related injuries and most of these fractures occur in persons over the age of seventy. Furthermore, seniors who fall are ten times more likely to be hospitalized, and eight times more likely to die as a result of a fall.
Environmental hazards are implicated in 33-50% of falls. This is an important fact because these are easily preventable. Major hazards in the home are clutter, electrical cords in pathways, inadequate lighting that can lead to tripping, slippery throw rugs, low chairs, soft chairs, and uneven surfaces.
There is no specific time of day that most falls happen but most falls occur indoors, usually in the bathroom, bedroom, or kitchen.
Statistics on the Importance of Safety for an elderly parent or loved one:
Safety on the Floor
- Remove throw rugs
- Secure carpet edges are not sticking up
- Remove objects on the floor
- Remove furniture with edges that stick out
- Reduce clutter on the floor and in closets
- Remove cords and wires on the floor
- Check lighting for adequate illumination at night
- Pick up items that are lying around such as papers, magazines, books, and shoes
Safety in the Kitchen
- Assure that all step stools are steady
- Eliminate chairs that are too low to sit on comfortably and could lead to a fall
Safety in the Bathrooms
- Install grab bars in the bathtub or shower
- Install grab bars by the toilet
- Use rubber mats in the bathtub or shower
- Pick up and remove floor mats when the bathtub or shower is not in use
- Install a raised toilet seat
Safety on Stairs and steps
- Secure carpet or treads on the staircase
- Pick up items placed on the staircase
- Fix loose or uneven steps
- Make sure to install handrails on both sides of the staircase
- Repair cracks in steps and driveway leading to the home
- Install handrails on steps leading to the home
- Trim shrubbery along the pathway to home
- Install adequate lighting by doorways and walkways for nighttime hours
- Ensure there is a light switch that can be reached from the bed
- Install adequate lighting
Additional Safety Tips
- Keep emergency numbers in large print near each phone
- Put a phone and emergency numbers near the floor in case your parent falls and can’t get up
- If there is a significant risk for a fall, think of arranging for an emergency alarm device for your parent to wear at all times
Below are the top THREE REASONS why seniors fall. There are simple steps that you can take to help decrease the risk of your elderly parent falling!
- Loose rugs are your enemy: Remove ALL loose rugs in the household. Regardless of the sentimental value that your mom might perceive of the rug “completing the room,” indeed, rugs are your enemy.
- Grab Bars are your friend: I cannot tell you the number of times clients will say that they do not need a grab bar because they use the toilet paper holder or the plastic shower door to help support their weight. Not only are these items not designed to support twenty pounds, but they also are not designed to support the weight of an adult! This is incredibly dangerous and installing grab bars is a relatively cheap and easy fix to this problem
- Keep a properly lit home: One Alvita Care client was so cost-conscience that she would not turn on any lights and instead used the flashlight on her walker. This is incredibly dangerous and an example of how cost savings can result in very expensive results such as a fall. Making sure that all the lights are on and can be controlled from various light switches will be helpful in keeping the entire home is properly lit.