November is Fall Prevention Month! Of course, we should all be doing our best to prevent falls all year round. But this is the month when we get an extra special bulletin that reminds us that keeping upright is a key to optimum health. This is especially true for seniors.
“In Canada, a senior endures a fall every 12 seconds,” reports Lifeline.ca, “Of these fall victims, 67% of them suffer from life-threatening injuries if they aren’t found within 72 hours.” The best way to combat injuries to the elderly from accidental falls is to prevent them from happening in the first place. In our falls prevention guide, we’ll give you tips for eliminating the most common causes of falls and includes advice on what to do if you happen to fall.
Make sure the entrance of your home is well-lit.
Fall prevention in the home actually starts outside the home. Especially with winter approaching, it’s important to be mindful of how slippery your front steps may become. Be sure to keep bags of salt readily on-hand. As well, keeping the front entrance will-lit will help for any ice and/or other tripping hazards to be avoided.
The Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation also urges homeowners to ensure their stairs and decks have handrails that are in good repair. As well, bare stairs should have non-skid surfaces and be kept free of snow, ice and leaves. In addition, gardening and other tools should be put away when not in use.
Safeguard your bathrooms.
As many of our past blogs have highlighted, the bathroom is often considered the most dangerous room of the home. Slippery tile surfaces and the constant presence of moisture create a room that seems made for falls to take place. However, there are many ways to safeguard your bathroom.
As Lifeline.ca reminds us, you can add grab bars in the shower, tub and toilet areas. You should also use non-slip adhesive strips or a mat in the shower or tub. Consider sitting on a bench or stool in the shower, suggests the website. As well, consider using a raised toilet seat.
Clear the stairwells of all obstacles.
You usually won’t trip over something you can clearly see. However, tripping hazards can be found all over your home. While it should go without saying that you should tuck away cords and pick up clutter from the floor, you should also pay attention to your home’s lighting. This is especially important on the stairs. For many seniors, climbing up and down the stairs is hard enough as it is without vision impairments.
Be sure all lights illuminating your staircases are in good working order. The Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation also advises homeowners to ensure that any carpeting on the stairs is firmly tacked down. Bare stairs should have non-skid surfaces. As well, the pathways at the top and bottom of the stairs should be free of plants or other items.
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we offer numerous mobility devices and home accessibility renovations to help with preventing falls. We always ensure that you have the complete picture to make an informed decision. You’ll know all of the possible options so you can choose which solution is best for you. To learn all about them, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!