While falling can occur to anyone, regardless of the age, older adults are more likely to fall and injure themselves. In fact, falls are usually the main reason for injuries such as broken legs or arms, which could in turn lead to loss of independence in people older than 65. Falls can occur due to many different reasons. Elders often fall down in or around the house simply because they have lost their balance while doing everyday activities. Some falls can be related to dizziness due to taking certain types of medications. Weak bones and muscles, that come with ageing, can also lead to falls which often result in broken leg, hip or arm.
Broken bones and hip fractures are not the only injuries that can happen due to a fall. In more serious cases, older adults may fracture their skull, which is an injury that can be fatal. Even if the fall doesn’t cause any major injury, it can result in fear when doing simple activities like walking down the stairs. The good news is that there is a way you can help the dear elderly people in your life, be it an ageing parent or grandparent and reduce their risk of falling. Most falls can be prevented by just taking a few precaution measures.
Install Fall Prevention Aids
One of the best ways to reduce the risk of falls is to install fall prevention aids, designed to make effective adjustments that make the living environment safer for older adults. The areas where fall prevention aids are most commonly used include the bedroom and the bathroom. To make getting out of bed easier for your parent or grandparent consider installing bedrails that are usually adjusted to the bed frame. When it comes to preventing falls in the bathroom, I’d suggest installing safety devices such as shower chairs, bath lifts and toilet seats, designed to make bathing and getting on and off the toilet a lot easier. The bath lift in particular, is a very useful and practical device that has the purpose to reduce strain and effort when getting in and out of the bath, thus reducing the risk of falls.
Keep the House Clutter Free
In many cases, a cluttered home can increase the risk of falls, therefore the best way to prevent them is to keep the house clean and tidy. Make sure to remove clutter, such as piles of clothing, boxes and stack of magazines, particularly from areas such as staircases and hallways. Also, it would be a great idea to check every room and make sure there are no slippery rugs and loose floors and carpets. Wet floors in bathrooms and kitchen can also be very dangerous. The best way to prevent falls on slippery surfaces is by covering them with non-slip mats.
Light up the House
Poor lighting is another thing that can contribute to falls. Therefore, in order to create a living environment that is safer for the elderly you should replace old light fixtures with new, more efficient light bulbs that can provide brighter illumination. LEDs can be a great choice in this case since they produce bright light, while at the same time consume little power. Make sure to light up dark areas in every room and pay special attention to hazardous areas such as hallways and staircases.