It’s winter time here in Northern Colorado, which means we’re either digging ourselves out from the last snowstorm or waiting anxiously for the next one to arrive. Winter weather creates hazardous conditions for driving and walking outside, but did you know that hazardous conditions can exist inside the home as well?
Slipping and falling doesn’t only happen out of doors where snow and ice coat walkways and front porches. Inside the home there are many everyday items that represent slip and fall hazards to seniors with limited mobility.
That’s why the in-home care experts at Seniors Helping Seniors has put together this brief list of advice when it comes to helping seniors avoid common hazards inside their homes. We’re dedicated to providing in home health care that seniors actually look forward to. Instead of an impersonal or judgemental home nurse, we connect seniors to other seniors who can provide compassionate, empathetic care to others with whom they have many things in common.
Falling Is One Of The Worst Things That Can Happen To A Senior
Even if you or a senior you care about has never fallen before in the past, you should realize that it’s always a possibility when there are mobility issues. These issues can be temporary, the result of a minor injury or medical procedure, or they can be a permanent result of advanced age. Either way, a fall is one of the worst things that can happen to a senior.
“Each year, millions of older people—those 65 and older—fall,” explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “In fact, more than one out of four older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor. Falling once doubles your chances of falling again.”
When Seniors Fall, They Can Suffer:
- Broken wrists, arms, ankles, and hips
- Injuries to the head, which are very serious for any seniors taking blood thinners
- Fear of falling again, which can be debilitating for a senior who is living alone without home health care assistance
Common Slip-And-Fall Hazards Lurking In A Senior’s Home
One of the best kinds of advice our in-home senior care provider can give to new members of the Seniors Helping Seniors network is how to create a living environment that protects them from slips and falls. Some of the hazards include:
Staircases - Seniors who are living in their permanent home may have been going up and down the same set of stairs their whole lives. But stairs become hazardous when mobility is limited. All it takes is missing one step to take a tumble that could change the rest of a senior’s life. Our in-home care specialists can help seniors devise a plan for ascending and descending staircases safely, or rearrange a ground floor bedroom so that they’re no longer required to navigate the stairs on a daily basis.
Poor Lighting - Many seniors know their homes very well, but everything looks different when vision is compromised because of poor lighting. You may not remember that there’s a pair of shoes lying near the coffee table or a shopping bag on the kitchen floor. It’s very easy for seniors to trip over these things, risking a fall if lighting is poor.
Unstable Furniture - Antique furniture is a wonderful complement to any home, but it’s not always the most stable. Older chairs, ladders, step stools, and other piece of furniture can unexpectedly give way underneath you, and even if it’s a very short distance, such a fall can lead to injury.
Clutter - Sometimes, seniors who have lived on their own for a while, or spent a long time recovering from a medical procedure, can allow their housekeeping chores to slide. This creates piles of clutter on the floor, tables, and on shelves. This clutter is often unstable, and one wrong move can send it crashing to the ground--or worse--on top of the senior.
Throw Rugs - While they may look very pretty, throw rugs are rarely secured to the floor meaning they can become bunched up or slide around easily underfoot. When the floor shifts beneath you, it doesn’t matter what your age or mobility, you’re likely to fall!
Pets - The in-home care specialists at Seniors Helping Seniors think it’s wonderful when seniors have cats, dogs, birds or other pets that can provide them with companionship. However, pets lying on the floor or jumping up on shelves can quickly become hazards that contribute to slips and falls.
Our In-Home Care Specialists Can Provide Advice For Avoiding Falls!
Contact Seniors Helping Seniors in Northern Colorado now to learn more about how our compassionate home health care providers can help make your home better protected against slip and fall hazards! Our highly-trained caregivers would be more than happy to speak to your or your senior loved one about why it’s so important to proof their home against these hazards, as well as the other services that we provide so seniors can thrive in their own homes.