Is Your House Safe For Independent Senior Living?

Updated 8/17/17 4:00pm | Now that I've worked at Alert1 for several years, it's become clear just how many seniors are concerned about falls.

Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among seniors. Every year, one in three adults over 65 will experience a fall. The good news is there are precautions seniors can take to help reduce their risk. 

National Falls Prevention Awareness Day was on September 22, and it is a good idea for family caregivers to think about how they can help their loved ones stay on their feet. With Alert1’s fall detection medical alert, your aging loved ones are protected when the unthinkable happens.

grandma with camera

Start by "Fall Proofing" the Home

lady at sink in kitchen

In talking to friends and colleagues about fall prevention, I've learned that there are many steps you can take to “fall proof” your senior’s home. They range from small improvements to significant overhauls.

  • Make flat, sturdy walkways. Remove or repair floor coverings with frayed or rolled edges. Double check that all floor coverings are securely attached to the floor. Remove area rugs, or place them over non-slip pads.
  • Keep walkways cord free. Lamps and other small appliances should be located as close as possible to outlets, so they can be used without extension cords. Secure extra cords and wires to the wall or furniture. You can even have an electrician install extra outlets and switches.
  • Avoid clutter obstruction. Your goal should be obstacle free walking, so remove clutter and relocate furniture to create clear pathways. This is also a good time to assess if your loved one is becoming a hoarder. 
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Renovate for More Mobility

home hallway. alert1 medical alert systems

Whether it is the result of a senior medication regimen or medical condition, seniors often have trouble with mobility. It’s a good idea to limit the distance they have to cover in their homes. I've discussed this topic with many senior care experts and some of them suggested rethinking the functionality of your loved one’s entire home.

  • Move sleeping quarters. You might want to consider moving your loved one’s bedroom downstairs or closer to their living area.
  • Redo storage. Relocate shelves and other storage spaces so that your loved one does not have to step up or even reach up to grasp household items.
  • Keep light available. Be sure that all stairways and hallways have light switches at both ends, so that your loved one doesn’t have to make extra trips in the dark. 

Make Additions to the Most Dangerous Room for Falls

dont slip sign.alert1

There are many wonderful safety products specifically designed to protect your loved ones from falls. These products are all made for the bathroom, the most dangerous room in the house for falls. With all the water splashing around, you don’t want your loved one to be in danger of a fall.

  • Add a safety frame around the toilet. With different makes and models, you will find one that’s the right height (similar to arms of a chair) for your loved one.
  • Add a transfer bench in the shower. Decrease the danger of falling while standing. A shower bench will let your loved one bathe in ease.
  • Add grab bars to the walls. Grab bars throughout the bathroom make personal hygiene more convenient and safe. If your loved one does slip, they will have a helping “hand” there to hold on to.
  • Add a medical alert system. I recommend a senior medical alert system to help give everyone more peace of mind. Your loved ones can use it to contact help in the event of a slip and fall. 

 

Aging in Place is Here to Stay

couple in hammock/ senior safety

Many seniors are choosing to live at home because there are so many advancements in home technology for older adults. Senior caregivers don’t rely on assisted living facilities or senior communities for a safe home environment.

With these products, your senior can successfully age independently from the comfort of their homes. Senior medical alert systems are helping families rise above the limitations of caring for multiple groups of people. If your loved one is looking for senior monitoring services, Alert1 is a company seniors can trust.  

There are undoubtedly many challenges of caring for an elderly loved one, but constantly worrying about whether they've suffered a fall doesn't have to be among the stresses. Fall detection medical alerts can help seniors and caregivers curb their concerns about fall related injuries.

Alert1 wants to know: have you made changes around your relative's home to help them avoid falls? Have they been effective?

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