Each year in the United States, more than a third of adults age 65 and older experience a fall with potentially dangerous consequences. According to the Center for Disease Control, falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths and most common cause of nonfatal injuries among older adults in the home.
Caregivers who watch out for their loved ones from a distance can actually help prevent accidents by taking a few precautionary steps when they are visiting.
Here are ten simple things you can do to make your loved one's home a safer place to live, compiled from ShirleyBOARD.com, an online community for people caring for aging loved ones.
- Reduce slipping hazards by removing throw rugs or securing them in place with double-sided carpet tape, tacks or rubber mats placed underneath. Do the same with stair treads.
- Remove furniture that may be easy to trip over.
- Replace door knobs with lever handles on all doors.
- Remove thresholds from doorways and entryways that may be easy to trip over. Ramps are a good way to do this.
- Install sturdy, stainless-steel hand rails in the shower/bathtub and next to the toilet. Installing grab bars on the edge of the tub is a good idea too. Make sure all hand rails and grab bars are anchored securely.
- Install a walk-in shower to avoid the need to climb over the edge of a tub.
- Put a rubber mat and a sitting bench in the bathtub/shower to eliminate slipping or loss of balance.
- Provide dustpans and brooms with long handles so that your loved one doesn’t have to bend over to pick up trash.
- Put in nightlights in the bedroom and hallway so that your loved one doesn’t have to fumble around in the dark.
- Make sure that all sitting furniture has arms so that your loved one can easily lower themselves or stand. Sitting surfaces should not be so low or high that your loved one has difficulty sitting in them or standing up out of them.
By adding just a few inexpensive safety features, the bedroom, kitchen and living room can become a much safer place. View more tips on creating a safe living environment for your aging loved ones at ShirleyBOARD.com.
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