Falls are a major health risk for seniors. Since seniors lose muscle mass and bone density as they age, they’re more susceptible to injuries from trips and falls.
Seniors also take longer to recover from injuries and illness than younger adults. So, getting a serious injury from a fall, like a fractured hip, could lead to a year of hospital visits, physical therapy and rest before feeling fully recovered.
The recovery process also comes with the risk of more health complications. While on bed rest, seniors won’t be able to lead an active lifestyle. They can lose a significant amount of weight and muscle mass. The isolation and change in their regular routine could cause mental health problems like depression. They could develop pneumonia, which can be life-threatening.
So, it’s important that seniors try to minimize their risks of slips and falls at home as much as possible. How can they do that?
Remove Tripping Hazards
One of the easiest things that seniors can do to make their homes a little safer is to remove tripping hazards from the floor. Tape down the corners of area rugs and replace the doormats with non-slip mats. Run electrical cords along the wall, not across the floor. Keep floors clear of any mess or clutter.
Prepare the Stairs
Staircases are common spaces for slips and falls. So, seniors should have slip-resistant stair treads and secure railings added to their staircases. Ideally, they should try to have a railing on either side of the staircase for additional support.
Another precaution that seniors should consider is a stair chair for emergencies. What is that? A stair chair is an evacuation tool that can help someone transport a person with mobility issues safely down staircases during housefires, gas leaks or natural disasters. A relative or caregiver simply has to secure them to the chair and then move out of the building.
Emergency situations encourage people to panic and rush because they want to vacate the premises as quickly as possible. This is when accidents can happen. So, seniors should look into stair chairs for elderly people to make their staircases safer during any emergency. They can be prepared to get through a very stressful situation unscathed.
Take Care of the Bathroom
The bathroom is another common place for slips and falls since the floor and surfaces can get slick with water. What can seniors do to make this a slip-free zone?
- Add a safety bar beside the bathtub and toilet
- Add grip-mats inside and outside of the bathtub
- Install a more accessible bathtub with a door that allows users to walk directly into the tub instead of climbing into it.
Get Rid of Ice and Snow
Ice and snow can be the source of slips and falls during the winter months. So, seniors should tackle the ice and snow sitting on their walkways to minimize their risk of injury. Seniors that lead active lifestyles can shovel the snow safely and throw down salt to melt away any ice in front of their home. Seniors that can’t shovel their own snow should hire a snow shovelling service or even ask a kind neighbour to do it for them.
Doing low-impact exercises on a regular basis should improve stability, strength and mobility. This can reduce the chances of slipping and falling.
Seniors should protect themselves from the dangers of slips and falls in their homes. These simple steps can keep them safe, healthy and out of the hospital.