Falls are the number one cause of hip fractures in the elderly, and six out of ten of these falls occur in their own home. You can help keep your parent from becoming part of this statistic by taking an assessment of their home and making sure it is as “fall-proof” as possible. If you are a long-distance caregiver, there are often services performed by state and local governments that provide in-home modifications as well as fall-prevention education. Check with your parent’s local Area Agency on Aging.
Tips for Making your Parent’s Home Safe
- Remove tripping and slipping hazards. Enter the front doors of your parent’s home as if viewing their living quarters for the first time. Walk the commonly used pathways in search of hazards that could create a fall. This includes wires that are crossing walkways and furniture that is causing an obstruction. Throw rugs will need to be removed or, if your parent is dearly attached, two-sided tape can be applied. Remove wax that may create a slipping hazard. Any clutter should also be removed.
- Lighting is crucial to your parent’s safety. Make sure that all areas of the home are well-lit, including staircases. Consider installing motion sensor lights or a series of night lights that come on at dusk and form a trail from their bedroom to the bathroom and kitchen.
- Make sure stairs have handrails on each side and consider placing a strip of colored tape on the edge of stairs to help your parent see them more clearly.
- The bathroom is the number one area where falls occur. To help avoid this tragedy, install grab bars in strategic locations such as in the shower and by the toilet. Place non-skid bath mats in the shower and in front of the sink. Depending on your parent’s mobility, consider the use of a raised toilet seat.
- Move items that your parent uses often to locations that are easy to reach.
- Consider getting a personal emergency response system which will inform both the family caregiver and the medical emergency response team should a fall occur.
- Schedule a daily exercise routine that can help keep your parent strong and stable. Exercise classes such as Tai Chi and Yoga are shown to increase balance, strength, and flexibility and can usually be found at the local senior community center.
Senior Care Provider
A senior care provider can help keep your aging parent safe at home by helping with the everyday tasks of living. They can help your parent navigate safely through their home, prepare healthy meals, perform light housekeeping, run errands and provide transportation. They can encourage exercise that helps keep your family member strong by taking daily walks or attending classes with them. They provide the companionship so important to the elderly.
If you or a senior family member are considering senior care in Franklin Lakes, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Caring Solutions Home Care LLC. In-home senior care servicing Bergen & Passaic Counties. Call today (973) 427-3553.
I started my career as an ICU nurse over 30 years ago. I have functioned as an educator and preceptor mentoring new nurses in the clinical arena. I have sat on many Patient Care committees authoring a variety of patient care protocols.
In 2007, I saw an opportunity to improve the delivery of patient care services in the home and founded Caring Solutions Home Care. Over the last 10 years I have functioned as the Director of Nursing overseeing all client care, administrative and personnel operations.