When it comes to home safety for seniors, you cannot be too careful. Choosing to be proactive about your health and wellness as you age can save you time, money, and potential injury in the long run. Considering that one in three adults over the age of 65 experience a fall every year, it would seem fitting to take preventative measures once you turn 65 in order to ensure your safety.
A global fall prevention report from the World Health Organization on the Epidemiology of Falls, found that 44 percent of falls among people over the age of 65 happen in the home. The report further breaks down this percentage to show where and how in the home seniors are falling: chair or ladder (3%), getting out of bed (3%), on stairs (6%), in the shower or bath (6%), or on a level surface (26%). Luckily, there are senior safety measures that you can implement at home to try and prevent these types of falls from occurring.
Home Safety For Seniors
The WHO also reports that 85 percent of fall-related fractures occur within the home as well. If you fall and break a bone at home, there is a high likelihood that it will be a hip fracture, as they are more commonly associated with falls at home. Proper home safety for seniors eliminates direct hazards in order to lower your risk for falls and broken bones.
Here’s what you can do, room by room:
In The Bedroom
- Add more light--the brighter, the better! Increasing the amount of light in your bedroom can help you avoid falls by improving your line of sight. Also, be sure to add an easy-to-reach lamp by the bedside so that if you wake up at night you won’t have to risk it by fumbling around in the dark.
- Hide loose wires. If there are any wires, perhaps for extra lamps brought in to illuminate the room, be sure to secure them safely to the wall or out of your regular pathway so that you can navigate your bedroom without the risk of a tripping hazard.
- Remove loose throw rugs, which can be detrimental to senior safety, or secure them to the floor. If they buckle or roll up, they can be a dangerous fall risk.
- Keep things within reach, even in closets and on shelves. If you still keep items high up on shelves or in closets in your bedroom, find a place to relocate them so that you do not have to overextend your arms or stand on a chair to reach for them.
- Since medical alert devices can keep you connected to help should you experience a fall, keeping a medical alert necklace or wristband near the bed at night will serve as a safety net. In addition, you can invest in a wall-mounted button that pairs with several of our Medical Guardian medical alert devices as an extra layer of protection in the bedroom.
On The Stairs
- Install carpet or non-slip rubber treads on each step. This is an excellent senior safety tip, as it can help to prevent dangerous falls on the stairs.
- Railings and banisters that can help you keep balance on the stairs should be on both sides of a staircase. If one side of your stairs are against a wall, install a railing on the wall so that you can grab on for added balance should you need it.
- Add more light in dark stairwells in order to gauge exactly where you are putting your feet while you’re on the stairs.
In The Bathroom
- Add grab bars in the shower and near the toilet to help prevent slips and falls.
- If showering has become increasingly difficult for you, consider purchasing a shower chair or bench, which allows you to sit in the shower without the risk of falling.
- Improve the lighting in the bathroom and along any pathways leading to the bathroom. Better lighting is a great overall senior safety tip, as it will decrease your risk of falls, especially during nighttime trips to the restroom.
Be Safer At Home
Clutter and general messiness can add to fall hazards, so when it comes to home safety for seniors, the cleaner the house, the safer. Aging in place can be an ideal way to grow older, however, ensuring your safety will have a direct impact on your overall health and quality of life.
Medical alert devices for the home can help ease the stress of living alone, providing you with the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ll always have access to a helping hand when you need it. Medical Guardian offers a wide array of products that serve a variety of lifestyle and budget needs, including yours. Don’t delay--invest in senior safety today!