It’s probably not feasible to turn your home into a 100% fall-proof location. But, if you live with a senior or other family member with a mobility issue, it’s incredibly important to find ways to minimize the risks of slipping and falling in your home.
“Approximately one in three seniors fall per year, with 20 per cent resulting in an emergency department visit because of broken bones, bruises or head injury,” writes Dr. Danielle Martin on CBC.ca, “And while many people aren’t aware of the easy steps that can be taken to avoid falls, falls can be prevented. In fact, falls are the most preventable risk to health among seniors.”
How to fall-proof your living room.
The living room is an innocent enough location within the home, isn’t it? It’s the place regularly used for “chilling out”, sitting on the couch, watching TV and talking with family members and visitors. However, because the living room sees a lot of action, there are numerous elements within it that can present tripping hazards.
As Dr. Martin remind us, it’s important to keep electrical cords and phone cords away from walkways. As well, your coffee tables, magazine racks and plant stands should be positioned away from high-traffic areas. There should be no loose rugs in your living room. If you insist on having a rug, be sure to have it secured to the floor with double-faced tape, she advises.
How to fall-proof your bathroom.
As we’ve pointed out in numerous blogs before, the bathroom is generally recognized as the most dangerous room in the home. Its slick surfaces make slipping and falling a lot more likely to happen. This is why it is highly recommended that homes where seniors and individuals with mobility issues live have grab bars installed in their bathrooms. When placed by the toilet and in the shower, they greatly assist with balance.
Dr. Martin also reminds us to use non-slip mats in the bathtub or shower. She also recommends “a sturdy plastic seat for the shower or tub, plus a hand-held shower nozzle for bathing while sitting down” while encouraging caregivers to “speak to a doctor about medicines that may increase the risk of falls such as sleeping pills, sedating antihistamines and some antidepressants.”
How to fall-proof your staircases.
In their Safe Living Guide, the Public Health Agency of Canada encourages homeowners to keep their stairways well lit by having light switches at both the top and bottom of the stairs. They also insist that stairs be free of clutter, are in good repair and have non-skid surfaces. As well, The Public Health Agency of Canada notes that solid handrails should appear on both sides of the stairway.
While this is all good advice, the team at Advantage Home Health Solutions is well aware that there is truly only one guaranteed way to prevent falls on staircases: stair lifts. We would be more than happy to discuss with you the various stair lift options that we have available for you. Be sure to ask us about our grab bars and other bathroom accessibility devices too!
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!