Preventing Falls at Home
As people age, one of their greatest wishes is to live in the comfort and security of their own home for as long as possible. Maintaining your loved one's health and providing a safe home environment will go a long way toward preventing a fall and protecting their independence.
View our Take Care of the Caregiveronline seminar by Barbara K. Moeller, RN, PHN (aired May 15, 2012).
Your loved one's overall condition plays an important part in preventing falls. Encourage them to stay active by continuing to enjoy hobbies, spending time with friends or exercising frequently to help keep their minds and bodies healthy. Also, having your loved one's vision checked annually and having periodic medication reviews by a doctor or pharmacist – to avoid side effects such as drowsiness or dizziness – will help ensure a safe environment.
Here are some key safety checks that can help prevent falls:
- Bathrooms: Installing grab bars in the shower or tub will make it easier to get in and out, and non-slip mats and rugs on the floors will allow for surefooted movement. A night light provides additional lighting.
- Stairs: Installing lights over the stairs, steps and landings will create a brighter environment, and removing items from the stairs will keep the area clutter free. Providing handrails on both sides of the stairs from top to bottom will allow your loved one to keep their balance.
- Bedrooms and Hallways: Be sure to have proper lighting installed such as night lights. If you use area rugs, be sure to tape them down, or do not use them at all.