Design Your Home to Avoid Trips and Falls!
Are you a senior who has had a trip or fall at home? Though the initial design of your space may have been ideal at one time, things can change as we age. It’s not uncommon to need some updating in order to keep up with changes in our lives, including things like eyesight, balance, and low lighting.
Falls are a major factor in hospitalizations, causing up to 90 percent of hip and risk fractures, and 60 percent of head injuries to older adults in Canada. They are also the number one cause of injury related death in seniors.Those are sobering statistics, and we want to give you the tools to avoid them!
While we love to create a space a home that is warm and welcoming, the use of area rugs in a big problem with tripping. Sometimes the “look” of a big floor area can be too much, and we fill the space or create warmth by adding a rug. But sadly, even when they seem to be well secured, people regularly trip over corners and edges of area rugs.
To see if you are putting yourself at risk for a fall, consider the following questions:
- Have you fallen in the last six months?
- Do you hold onto the furniture as you move around your home?
- Are you using your hands to help you as you stand up?
- Do you take medication that makes you feel unsteady or lightheaded?
- Do you get up in the middle of the night to use the washroom?
- Do you wear slippers or socks when you are at home?
- Are you using a cane or walker in your home?
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to some of these questions, speak with your doctor or nurse practitioner about how to protect yourself from a fall. They may wish to review your medications, assess your health, and check your vision. Sometimes a few simple changes at home are all that’s needed to make things much safer.
Here are some things you can do at home that can help keep you safe:
- Remove area rugs
- Install night lights so it’s easier to see if you get up in the middle of the night
- Wear runners or shoes with a non-skid sole instead of slippers or socks in the house
- Take a fall prevention class
- Strengthen your muscles and core with supervised exercise or occupational/physical therapy
- Install secure handrails throughout your home, including in the shower and near the toilet
- Meet with a social worker or home care worker about home health services
- Hire a professional who can organize your home to make it safer for you
For more information on fall prevention and some helpful resources, see http://fallpreventionmonth.ca/ and https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/health-promotion/aging-seniors/publications/publications-general-public/you-prevent-falls.html
Elder Move Inc. staff are specially trained to help you to organize your home, and if you are moving we will also pack, relocate, and unpack your belongings. We work hard to provide you with a safe, comfortable home. You can contact us here and we’ll help you get started!