Monthly Archives: September 2016

Staying Safe in your home

As we age there are some issues that need to be updated in the home to make it more safe and help prevent falls and accidents. Since more than one in three people age 65 years or older falls each year. The risk of falling — and fall-related problems — rises with age. Among older adults, falls are the number one cause of fractures, hospital admissions for trauma, loss of independence, and injury deaths. Some of the simple items are remove anything that could cause you to trip or slip while walking, make sure you have enough lighting in each room, at entrances, and on outdoor walkways, use night lights in the bathrooms, hallways, kitchens and bedrooms, properly placed grab bars in your tub and shower, and next to the toilet, and use your cane or walker properly. By adding a basket, tray, or pouch to the walkers allows you help in carrying items around the home, to include your phone. Other items are store everyday items within easy reach if you can do that use a reacher for items up high, but remember it is only for lightweight items, Use assertive devices in the bathroom, such as transfer benches to get in & out of the tub safety without having to step over the rim, in the show use a shower chair if needed and use a hand held shower head. Place grab bars in the tub/shower area and around the toilet. If you are using a walker or cane, keep one in each room just in case you get up and forget to take it. If you have an emergency alert, check it monthly or after losing power/phones and wear it specially in the bathroom when taking a bath or shower, so that it is available if you do fall. It would not do you any good on the nightstand or on your walker. Other items that can be done but might require some help from others is changing out the door handles from round to level-type handles, replace traditional toggle-style light switches with larger, easier-to-use rocker-style light switches, make the door ways 36 inches so that walkers, chairs etc can fit.
Most of all talk with your doctor about falling and they can request home health in to assistive with fall prevention or about having a physical therapist or occupational therapist assess your device needs
You can also download Home Safety checklist from many different sites. Here are some links to a few of them:

https://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/122038/701.pdf

http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/pubs/english/booklet_eng_desktop-a.pdf

https://www.homeinstead.com/230/publishingimages/home-safety-checklist_us_web.pdf

http://www.homesafetysmartcheck.com/home-safety-checklists_5143_ct.aspx

https://www.ncoa.org/healthy-aging/falls-prevention/