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Is Your House Safe For Independent Senior Living?

Updated 8/18/15 2:05pm | Now that I've worked at Alert1 for several years, it's become clear just how many seniors are concerned about falls. With statistics like these, it’s hard to disagree with them. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among seniors and, 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.

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. Your loved one should have flat, sturdy walkways in and around their home. Remove or repair floor coverings with frayed or rolled edges, and double check that all floor coverings are securely attached to the floor. Area rugs should be used over non-slip pads, but it is best to remove them altogether. Lamps and other small appliances should be located as close as possible to outlets, so they can be used without extension cords. If possible, cords and wires should be secured to the wall or furniture. You can even have an electrician install extra outlets and switches. Your goal should be obstacle free walking, so remove clutter and relocate furniture to create clear pathways. Check out these fall-prevention measures for more ideas on how to help your loved one stay safe.

Whether it is the result of a senior medication regimen they follow or a medical condition they struggle with, seniors often have trouble with mobility and it is 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 even suggest rethinking the functionality of your loved one’s entire home. You might want to consider moving your loved one’s bedroom downstairs or closer to their living area. 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.  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. There are many wonderful safety products specifically designed to protect your loved ones from falls. You can install a safety frame around the toilet, a transfer bench in the shower, and grab bars throughout the bathroom to make personal hygiene more convenient and safe. I also recommend that caregivers consider 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 fall, as well as contact you if they are in any sort of predicament.

Aging in place is here to stay, as it’s both affordable and better for the health of modern seniors. 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?