On the first official day of autumn, Fall Prevention Awareness Day takes place. The goal on this day is to learn how you can prevent falls in your elderly parent or grandparent’s home. Fall prevention is the best way to keep your elder family member safe.
In 2014, the elderly accounted for 29 million reported falls in the United States. Almost 25 percent of those falls lead to injuries, and around 27,000 elders died as a result of their falls. In Medicare payments alone, the cost from these falls came to more than $30 billion.
Fall prevention is key. The Journal of Injury and Violence Research compiled records to see where most falls occur. Here are five areas where you need to focus your attention to prevent falls.
#1 – Bathroom
Several areas in the bathroom pose problems. Water on a tile fall can cause your elderly mom or dad to slip. Make sure bath mats have rubber backing to keep them from moving. Bathtub and shower floors need an anti-slip shower mat or gripping decals that help provide traction on a wet, soapy surface. After a shower, make sure someone mops up any puddles of water from the floor.
#2 – Bedroom
Disorientation leads to many falls. If your parent wakes up in the middle of the night and needs to get to the bathroom, it’s already hard to see in the dark and being half awake doesn’t help matters any. Night lights help. It’s also worth making sure the path between the bed and bathroom is clear of obstacles.
#3 – Kitchen
Kitchen falls are often caused by having to climb on chairs to reach things in high cabinets. A step stool with a hand rail helps prevent these falls. It also helps to move items to base cabinets or the counter.
#4 – Living Room
Loose rugs or rugs with curled edges are one of the biggest hazards in a living room. If your parent has throw rugs, check them regularly. If they slip, add non-slip backings to them. If the edges curl, it’s probably better to get rid of the rug. You might be able to iron it flat or use heavy weights to flatten the curl, but it will eventually curl up again.
#5 – Outdoor Porch or Patio
Finally, pay attention to a porch or patio. Dim lighting, uneven boards or patio bricks, and algae or moss growing on the concrete all are known to cause falls. Add hand rails on stairs and make sure surfaces are not wet and slippery.
Prevent some falls by having a helper on hand for more difficult tasks. Have an elder care professional come to your mom and dad’s home to do light housework, laundry, and meal preparation. Caregivers also help with bathing, grooming, and transportation. Talk to an elder care agency to learn more.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Puyallup WA, contact the caring staff at Hospitality Home Care today. Call us at (206) 966-6552.