22 Jun Where and When Are Falls Most Likely to Happen?
National Safety Month’s goal is to get people thinking about safety at home. Falls can be minor or cause severe injuries. Around 25 percent of those who are 65 or older fall each year. About 2.8 million injuries occur each year and more than 800,000 require the adult to stay in the hospital.
If your parents do fall, where are those falls most likely to happen? Four rooms within the home account for the majority of falls. Falls can also happen outside. What can you do to lower the risk of a fall in these areas?
The bathroom is a leading area for falls. Bathroom floors get slippery when there’s water on them. The tub or shower floor is also slippery. Non-slip floor tiles on the tub or shower floor may help with traction. A shower mat with suction cups is another good idea.
Add grab bars for your parents to hold for support. They should be installed in the tub/shower area, outside on the wall as they exit, next to the toilet, and behind the toilet.
Falling out of bed can happen at any age, and older adults are just as susceptible. If your parent needs to use the toilet in the middle of the night, walking into a door frame or a piece of furniture is also possible.
Arrange furniture so that nothing juts into the path your parents walk. Keep clutter from gathering on the floor. Install floor-level LED lights that they can tap on with their toe to illuminate the path they take to the bathroom. If they have fallen out of bed, install a bed rail to help keep them from falling out.
Slippery floors, heavy pots/pans, and difficulty reaching items in top cabinets or very low cabinets are risks. Arrange the kitchen so that things are easy to reach. Heavy pots should be moved to the sink for draining using a wheeled coaster or trivet to avoid having to carry it.
Wiring, loose decorative rugs, and furnishings sticking out in the path your parents take to get to other areas are issues to look at. Address those hazards. Make sure they easily get on and off of the sofa or preferred easy chair. If they struggle, new furniture is worth considering.
Falls can happen outside, too. Tripping over a curb is one issue seniors face. Stumbling on an uneven area of a yard is also common. Slipping on ice, packed snow, or wet leaves increases the chances of a fall.
Fill and level cracks in the driveway or sidewalk. If the yard is not level, fill in holes. Maintain surfaces in the winter.
Hire caregivers to spend time with your parents. Caregivers can assist your parents when they go for a walk outside. They can offer support while your parent walks to the bathroom or gets out of the shower. Caregivers can also cook meals to prevent your parents from trying to reach items in higher cupboards.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering a Caregiver in Millwood, WA please contact the caring staff at Care To Stay Home – Spokane today at (509) 340-1359.