10 TIPS TO IMPROVE HOME SAFETY FOR SENIORS
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, every 20 minutes a senior dies from a fall.
Do I have your attention now?
Another scary statistic: More than one in four older adults falls every year; fewer than half tell their doctor.
Accidents and injuries are consistently ranked one of the highest causes for senior visits to the emergency room. Among these accidents, falls are the most common reason. Beyond the inconvenience of bruises or broken bones, falls in seniors can be the catalyst for more serious problems.
However, falls ARE preventable. Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you can’t do things. All it means is you can’t do things at the rate you used to be able to. You’re a bit slower, and that’s ok. It’s normal. It’s natural. Taking it slow is smart.
Here are Sansbury Medical’s top 10 tips for increasing home safety in your home.
- Keep your stairs clear. Stairways are the most common place seniors fall. All it takes is one misstep and you’re tumbling. Be cognizant of placing items near the stairwell and check every night before you go to bed that the stairs are clear. If you find that the actual process of climbing the stairs is increasingly causing you missteps, inquire at Sansbury Medical today about our top-of-the-line stairlifts for seniors. We offer residential stairlifts for every stairwell. Contact us today!
- Declutter! Most of us possess too many items we don’t use. All of these extra items have to go someplace, and they often end up in area where we can trip over them. Sansbury Medical suggests you do a walk-through your home and honestly assess if you need every item. Don’t forget to check the floor! Remove extra rugs that become tripping hazards when they bunch up.
- Cords. How many of us have almost tripped on a cord? Assess all your appliances and equipment with cords and push the cords out of the way as much as possible. Space-heaters, fans, and other temporary seasonal appliances are particularly dangerous since they are portable.
- Pets. No one wants to admit Fido is a hazard, but he is. Tripping on or avoiding pets so you don’t step on them is another common hazard seniors face. Utilize crates especially at night when your vision is hindered and when you’re gone to contain Fido’s exuberance upon your return. You can’t take care of Fido very well if you’re injured.
- Footwear. Carrying groceries in snow boots while trying to wrestle the front door open to escape the biting cold is something we’ve all done. Sansbury Medical recommends having a pair of nicely-soled shoes by the door at all times to change into when you arrive home. Take off the high heels from your special occasion when you arrive home and leave the hiking boots outside as well.
- Lighting. As a senior, your vision is most likely not what is was when you were in your twenties. So until we’re blessed with cat eyes, lighting at night will become your savior. Outside, install motion-detection lights around your home and recessed or staged lights around the pathways as well. Indoors, have lights available at the flip of a switch. Utilize lamps on your nightstand as well as night lights, and LED lights that are brighter than your old ones.
- Install railings or grab bars. Railings and grab bars provide stability to help you move around. Consider installing a railing or grab bar at the main entrance to your home, in the bathroom (by the toilet and in the shower) or other rooms that are hard to navigate, like an attic or basement, and definitely on all stairwells— — even if it’s an outside staircase with three steps. Protecting yourself is more important than aesthetics.
- Flooring. We all love shiny, polished hardwood, tile, and pergo floors. They appear crisp, clean, and absolutely chic. However, they can also be a fall waiting to happen–especially when wet. Consider placing thin mats that grip the floor securely in high-traffic and water-prone areas such as the area in front of the kitchen sink, at the bottom of a stairwell, or at the front door where wet, muddy boots like to congregate.
- Move frequently used items closer to you. The phone, a glass of water, your book, the remote controls, and your computer should all be readily accessible. Place your phone on your nightstand before you go to bed. Everything should have a place to minimize frantic searching under a time crunch (car keys, anyone?)
- Finally, our last tip is to increase your mobility. No, we’re not suggesting yoga classes (although yoga is great for increasing mobility in your body). What Sansbury Medical means by this is to rearrange your house so you can walk around easily. Sell unneeded or unused furniture that is just collecting dust. Coffee tables are mostly overgrown bookcases. Replace them with a smaller end table suitable for coffee. Rearrange your kitchen to make frequently used items more accessible to eliminate putting yourself off-balance by reaching for items on the top shelves. Same in the bathroom and hallways. The fewer obstacles you have to maneuver around, the less likely you’ll experience a debilitating fall.
Sansbury Medical in Staten Island, New York, Is Here to Help
Sansbury Medical in Staten Island, New York, desires the best for seniors and keeping you safe is one of our top priorities. With our innovative, versatile, custom residential stairlifts for seniors, we aim to help you improve your quality of life so you can enjoy it to the fullest. With almost three decades of experience in the residential stairlift industry in the Staten Island area, Sansbury Medical can advise you on your best options and take care of all the details of purchasing, installing, and maintaining a residential stairlift. Let us help you maintain your mobility. Contact us today!