Quality Home Health Care

How to Prevent Fall Injuries in Seniors at Home

Most seniors suffer from fall-related injuries in their homes. It is for this reason why a fall-safe house needs to be designed for each home in whch there is an elderly person, to help prevent such injuries. Senior man recovering from a fall. Home safety for seniors in importantOne fact needs to remain clear, aging persons suffer broken hips and fractures from a simple fall because their bones are weak. Statistics show that, a third of all seniors suffer fall-related injuries, some of which can be life-threatening. All these can be prevented by making minor adjustments (senior safety measures) in the house to accommodate this delicate generation.

This checklist has outlined some of the major changes you can adopt to design a fall-safe house.

1. Safety in all rooms

Electric and phone cords, boxes, newspapers, and furniture should be cleared/moved to create ample space in traffic areas.

Household appliances, bed covers, and clothing, should be stored where the elderly person can reach with ease. Most elders fall trying to reach for items that are high up, and this can be prevented by making everything easily accessible to them. Hallways should also be clutter free.

2. Stairways

Whether the senior’s room is upstairs or not, make a point of ensuring stairways are equipped with handrails on both sides, and fastened securely.

Any carpets in the staircase should be removed or fastened to ensure they do not slip. In addition to this, mark each step with a brightly colored adhesive tape to improve visibility.

3. Floors

All floorboards need to be straight and even. Any carpets or rugs on the same should be removed if frayed, or fastened with tacks if they have to remain. You can alternatively use non-skid pads or floor wax to make it slip resistant.

4. The Safe Bathroom

Most of the fall accidents happen in the bathroom, and especially if it isn’t big enough. If the bathroom is too small, consider renovating it to make it spacious. The bathtub needs to be easy to get in and out, and an adjustable-height shower head installed in the bathroom. The soap dish needs to be fixed in an easy to reach area. In addition to this, consider installing reinforced grab bars inside the shower and near the toilet.

Since bathtubs tend to get slippery when wet, use non-slip bath mats in the tub and around the bathroom to prevent slipping over.

Ensure a bolted rod that is strong enough to hold a person’s weight holds shower curtains. An elderly person will try to cling to anything to stand up or in case of danger, which is the reason why you will need a bolted rod.

Consider replacing bathing bar soaps with a liquid soap dispenser. A bar soap may fall out of the tub, which could be dangerous especially if the elderly person attempts to retrieve it.

Since temperature sensitivity fades away as one gets older, consider setting safe water temperatures in the bathroom. The most recommended temperature for a senior is 120°F or below, as anything higher that that can be dangerous for his/her skin.

5. Safety in The Kitchen

Ensure all utensils are easy to reach especially those used frequently. If need be, have a sturdy step stool with a grab bar ready, in case one should need to use one in the kitchen.

Have lazy Susan’s trays installed inside kitchen cabinets. These trays make it very easy to pick a pot, pan or dish inside the enclosure as all one needs to do is spin the tray to access the item. This reduces strain from attempting to reach items that are inside the cabinet, or too high in the kitchen, which can toss one off stability.

6. Other additional safety measures for seniors in the kitchen are:

a. Consider replacing standard dials with large easy-to-read ones on the stove. The ON, and OFF, buttons needs to be visible clearly from afar.

b. Replace kitchen aprons and small towels with real potholders, and ensure they are easy to reach.

7. Entire Household Lighting

It is mandatory for bedrooms, hallways, and stairways to be installed with night-lights. Lights with motion sensors are the most recommended should one get up deep into the night.
Have light switches installed at the bottom, and top of the staircase for easy reach.

Consider having a telephone and a lamp placed near the bed for emergency purposes.

Uniform lighting is also required in all rooms as alternating brightness can blur a senior’s sight.

8. Within the house perimeter

Make sure paths and driveway do not have any potholes or uneven joints.

Ice, snow, and leaves should be removed from walkways and stairs very often.

Any staircase should have firm handrails installed on both sides.

The type of shoes that the senior has does play a significant role as well. Ensure he/she has thin non-slip and sturdy shoes to put on while in and outside the house.

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Disaster Emergency Preparedness for Seniors

Seniors today are healthier and more independent than ever before. As many older people continue to live in their own homes, seniors and their families need to take special care for disaster preparedness. You can survive an emergency situation, and stay safe and healthy.

Non-Perishable Food And Water

Palm Trees in HurricaneIf you cannot leave home during an emergency, you will need fresh water and food. It is recommended you plan at least one gallon of water per day. Store water in lightweight, sealed containers. You should also purchase a supply of water filter straws.

The food you store can be either MRE’s or individual products. Meals Ready to Eat are available with many different products. They are easy to store, require little to no preparation, and can be stored for years.

If you prefer individual products, choose foods that can be eaten directly from the cans or jars. You may not have access to a stove or microwave. In addition to food for meals, purchase unbreakable containers of juice, and nutritious snacks. Energy bars, protein bars, and granola bars are some examples.

Supplies For Your Health

You can purchase a ready-made First Aid kit. You can add additional supplies to the kit. It should include antiseptic wipes, bandages, band-aids, and similar products.

There are toiletries you need every day. Have a toothbrush and toothpaste, or denture cleaners. Toilet paper, deodorant, and mouthwash are some examples. Check your bathroom to see which products you use daily.

You need your prescription medications, and over the counter medications. Aspirin or non-aspirin pain relievers, cold and flu medication, laxatives, and vitamins are some of the common health supplies to keep in your kit.

Documents And Related Information

You will need copies of your birth certificate, marriage license, proof of rental or home ownership, proof of your bank accounts, and car ownership documents.

You should have emergency information in your wallet at all times. The card should list your emergency contacts, medical conditions you have, and medications you take regularly.

Supplies For Your Home And Car

During an emergency, you need to keep your home clean and your car running. The best cleaning supplies include bleach, other disinfectants, cleaning clothes, and buckets. You can keep a tool kit in your car.

Your cell phone should always be completely charged. If you do not have electricity during an emergency situation, you will need fresh batteries for battery-operated flashlights and radios. Instead of candles or kerosene lamps, have battery-operated lamps in your home.

Supplies For Your Pets

Your pets need to stay healthy and safe, too. When you are storing supplies for yourself, do not forget pet food, medications your pet takes, leashes, collars, and pet toys. You will need your pet’s license, and proof of his vaccinations.

Supplies For Entertainment

While some emergencies can be long-term and serious, a short-term issue such as a power failure is another possibility. When you have reading material, puzzles, or games you can play by yourself, you will be prepared for any situation.

Your Support Network

It is easier to make it through an emergency situation when you are not alone. Even if no one else lives in your home, you can benefit from a support network. This can include your family members, friends, neighbors, and your doctor.

Discuss disaster preparedness with your network in advance. You need to know you can rely on them for help. Keep their names and numbers in your cell phone and in your wallet.

You should also have the name and number of the nearest shelter. In some areas, emergency shelter is provided by the Red Cross. If there is a Red Cross in your town or city, contact them for information. Depending on the situation, you may be able to obtain transportation from your home to a shelter.

An emergency situation can be frightening, especially for seniors who live alone. Disaster preparedness can turn a dangerous situation into an experience that you can manage with little difficulty.

The best approach is to make a checklist of all the necessary supplies. Keep supplies in your home and in your car. Talk to your support network about the precautions you are taking, and you can be ready for any emergency that occurs.

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