Being a caregiver for an elderly person is a great responsibility. One of the most common causes of injuries and even accidental deaths among seniors in their home are falls. Even if you were never told that it’s your responsibility to focus on reducing the risk of falls in the home, take it as yours.
There are several things that you should focus on and when you do, they will help to improve the safety at home for the elderly patient.
Look at all that clutter.
As we move through our lives, most of us have a tendency to collect things. That could include furniture, boxes of products, and more. All of that clutter will pose an increased risk to the senior at home. Encourage him or her to eliminate all of the items that they don’t need.
It’s hard for some people to let go of things, so talk about a 5 year rule. If they haven’t touched it, used it, or needed it for the past five years, it’s time to separate from it.
In the bathroom is where many falls occur, not because of clutter, but because the tile surfaces can be quick slick when they get wet. Stepping into and out of the shower can pose a number of health risks. You can have safety bars installed to ensure that the senior has something to hold onto for support.
It’s important that you don’t install these grab bars improperly, as they could then pull free of the wall, leading to an even more serious accident or situation. These safety bars should also be installed around the toilet to help the senior who has weaker legs and more trouble getting up and down on the toilet.
Add non-skid tread to hardwood stairs.
When you have hardwood stairs, they can be quite slick when you’re in socks. Adding a non-skid pad to those stairs will help to reduce the risk of falling for the senior, and for anyone else who visits them at home.
Repair broken sidewalks or cracked steps outside.
Even though you may be focused on the inside of the home, any crack or uneven surface outside can pose a serious risk for seniors. Make sure that all walkways, sidewalks, the driveway, and any steps outside are smooth and free of potential risk factors.
As a caregiver, it’s your responsibility to ensure the safety of the elderly individual and focusing on the aspects that could cause them to fall is a vital one.