Welcome to 2020! Yes, we know that the year is now a week old, but since this is the first Advantage Home Health Solutions blog of the new year, we thought it was an opportune time to send out our well wishes to all our readers. We don’t have to remind you that 2020 is more than just a new year – it’s the beginning of a new decade. And, while this may be hard to imagine, there are some people who are now experiencing the 20s for a second time!
Do you have an elderly loved one who is 90 or older?
If so, this is a very special decade for that individual. You may want to consider throwing him/her an extra special celebration when birthday time rolls around. However, you’ll want to ensure that – as always – you practice safety first. Needless to say, paying special attention to the safety and well-being of an older adult remains of paramount importance in the new decade.
Rid your home of any and all tripping hazards.
Perhaps this is a practice you stuck steadfastly to long before the year sounded like you were referring to perfect eyesight. However, in 2020, it will be worth it to give your home another once-over to ensure that there is virtually nothing for your elderly loved one to trip and fall over. That includes the removal of any throw rugs, which are known for bunching up and causing tumbles.
Rick Lauber of Home Care Assistance also reminds us to clean up such piled clutter as newspapers, loose clothes and shoes. “Create a more open environment,” he advises, “This will be easier to do if Mom or Dad is still walking rather than using a wheelchair or walker. In the latter case, doorways should be at least 32” across to allow for access. Consider any tight corners before or after a doorway. These may restrict access and make maneuverability impossible.”
Make the bathroom floor slip-proof.
The vast majority of bathroom floors are tiled. The always-slick surfaces make for dangerous walkways, especially for those who aren’t steady on their feet. To protect your elderly loved one from a slip in the bathroom, you may want to change the tiles. Cubby of Eldercare Home Health notes that the ideal flooring would be a cushioned sheet vinyl with a non-slip surface since it helps to avoid fractures in the event of a fall.
Of course, your easiest bet is to place non-slip mats on the floor as well as in the bathtub. Needless to say, many bathroom falls occur in the shower. Cubby goes on, however, to point out that bathroom dangers can occur even before an elderly person enters it. The following question is asked: Which way should the bathroom and bedroom door swing?
“Consider rehanging the doors to swing into the hall,” suggests Cubby, “This will prevent a senior who falls against the door from blocking entry to the room. Even if the door is locked, it will be easy to remove the hinge pins to provide quick access for you, a caregiver or EMI.”
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we proudly offer an array of high-quality accessibility devices for both the bathroom and the bedroom. Let’s work together on making improved senior safety a priority in your home this decade! For more information, 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!