Top tips for fall-proofing your home
A fall at home can completely change the quality of life for an elderly person and can signal the beginning of a downward spiral where he or she eventually loses the independence they have always valued.
A survey commissioned by Age UK has found that 4.3 million (36%) people are worried about falling over, but by taking these steps to ‘fall-proof’ your home and by keeping an eye out for potential hazards, your home can be a safer place:
Having adequate lighting is one of the simplest ways to avoid falls, especially on stairways, entrances and outdoor paths. Eyesight diminishes with age so it’s important to make sure the living space has ample light to help an elderly person avoid any obstacles in their path.
This is where most falls occur, so installing grab bars on the wall near the toilet and along the bath or shower is important, as is having a non-slip mat next to the bath or shower. Consider installing a raised toilet seat or one with armrests to maintain balance while getting on or off the toilet.
Stairs and floors should be kept clutter free and trip hazards such as small furniture, handbags, pet bowls, electrical and phone cables should be removed.
Arrange all furniture to allow plenty of room to walk freely. A raised mattress will help with getting in and out of bed easily and living room furniture should also be firm, high and with armrests to assist in standing.
Ensure carpets are well fitted and not wrinkled. Avoid waxed or slippery floors and use non-slip rugs, or attach rugs to the floor with double-sided tape.
Make sure any liquid, grease or food spilled on the floor is cleaned up to avoid slipping, and that all food, dishes and cooking equipment are easy to access. Use a step stool with a handrail to reach upper cabinets but if in any doubt, don’t take risks – ask a friend, neighbour or carer to help.
Stairs are one of the most risky places in the home for elderly people. Handrails can be used to avoid carrying items up and down the stairs with both hands, thus maintaining balance.
This is one of the most dangerous times for falls at home, as people are often groggy, making it easier to lose their balance. Adequate lighting in the bedroom, bathroom, hallway and kitchen is essential. Keep a torch to hand, especially near the bed. A cordless or mobile phone is also a good idea, so there is no danger of rushing around the house to answer a call.
Good health and exercise
Preventative health is important and balance exercises and lower-body strength can help prevent falls. Following a healthy diet can also improve balance, co-ordination and general health.
Other articles you may like
- Domestic support is available in your homeKeeping things clean and tidy in your own home can get tougher as you get older. Vacuuming and laundry can be harder toContinue reading “Domestic support is available in your home”
- Meet Care Co-ordinator GeorgiaGeorgia is one of three Care Co-ordinators at Birchwood Care Services and has worked with the organisation for 10 months. She is undertakingContinue reading “Meet Care Co-ordinator Georgia”
- Tips for keeping the elderly safe during extreme heatTips for keeping the elderly safe during extreme heat Here in Britain, we are simply not used to high temperatures we sometimes experienceContinue reading “Tips for keeping the elderly safe during extreme heat”
- Birchwood to host Summer Open Day in JuneWe are delighted to announce that Birchwood Care will be hosting an Open Day on Saturday 26th June from 2-4pm. The Open Day willContinue reading “Birchwood to host Summer Open Day in June”
- Your questions answered about a care assessmentWe understand a lot of different terms are used within the industry when it comes to home assessments and what is involved atContinue reading “Your questions answered about a care assessment”
- Cream Tea Giveaway – who will you invite for tea?We’re giving away a Cream Tea for Two with the May issue of Birchwood Care and on our Facebook page. Our Chef atContinue reading “Cream Tea Giveaway – who will you invite for tea?”
- Meet Mary, Domestic Support Worker at Birchwood.Enabling people to retain their independence and stay in their own home is one of the aims of Birchwood Care Services. The teamContinue reading “Meet Mary, Domestic Support Worker at Birchwood.”
- Meet Bethany – Care Co-ordinator at Birchwood.Every day is different and rewarding, says Care Co-ordinator and Relief Supervisor Bethany, who has worked for Birchwood Care Services for just overContinue reading “Meet Bethany – Care Co-ordinator at Birchwood.”
- The Power Of Aromatherapy For The ElderlyThe Power Of Aromatherapy For The Elderly. Aromatherapy is the use of aromatic plants or essential oils to promote wellbeing through scent andContinue reading “The Power Of Aromatherapy For The Elderly”