Fall Safety for Seniors—What Elderly Adults Need to Know
There are more seniors than ever that are currently living on their own and enjoying the independence that comes with aging in place. However, while there are many benefits for seniors who live by themselves, there are also a number of potential risks—particularly falls. Falls are the number one reason that seniors end up in the emergency room and they can lead to serious injuries or even death.
For many seniors, and their families, the scariest part about falls is that they often happen when seniors are alone and when there is no one around to help them. This can cause many seniors to be left alone for hours, or even days before someone checks on them. This is why it is so important for every senior who is living on their own to be aware of some very basic, yet very effective fall safety tips that can help prevent these serious issues from happening.
- Make sure the home is senior-friendly. There are so many simple, everyday things that seniors can do in order to make sure their home is fall-proof. First, the home should be well-lit and easy to navigate even in the evening. Removing clutter, securing rugs to the floors, and making sure everyday items are within reach are simple, yet effective ways to lessen the chances of falls happening.
- Have someone check in. A friend or family member should be calling or stopping by the senior’s home regularly. A simple text will even suffice. One of the reasons that falls are so dangerous for seniors who live alone is because when seniors fall and are unable to reach anyone they can spend a long time on the floor, unattended and unable to get up.
- Invest in smart technology. There are so many great new pieces of smart technology that are designed specifically with seniors in mind. This includes sensors that can be worn and pressed to alert emergency contacts, or even smart assistants and fall-detectors that utilize technology to help seniors should they fall.
- Pay close attention to the bathrooms. The bathroom is the number one place in the home where falls happen. Seniors should not only be more cautious in the bathroom and aware of the potential risks, but they should also make sure that their bathrooms have been outfitted to be safer for everyday use. Grab bars can be added near the toilet and in the shower for extra stability, and non-slip mats and rugs should be put in the bottom of the shower and outside of the tub. There are even zero-entry tubs that can be installed so seniors don’t have to make a giant step to get in and out of their shower.
The more that seniors know about falls, how serious they can be, and how to prevent them, the better. Falls should be taken seriously and the more that seniors can do to prevent them from happening—the longer they can continue to live safely in the comfort of their own home.
- Lori Thomas has decades of experience as a caregiver. Her writing for SeniorAdvice.com is informed by years of research as well as hands-on family experience caring for her now late mother, who had chronic health issues for most of her life. Lori is an integral part of the SeniorAdvice.com management team, acting as Vice President of Marketing and Chief Editor.
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