When you are young, falling is rarely a big deal. When you are older, however, falling can result in a serious injury, costly medical bills, permanent mobility issues and the loss of your independence.
Due to the reduced balance and slower reaction times that come with aging, a simple fall can have a huge impact on your life. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to reduce the fall risk for yourself or a loved one over age 65. If you take the time to identify risks throughout your home, you can help reduce the risk of falling.
Wet floors are a common culprit for falls with seniors, particularly in the shower. Installing grab bars and non-slip mats around the bathroom and in the shower can provide something secure to hold on to when bathing. Another way to make more secure showers is to install a shower seat and a handheld water nozzle. These measures reduce the risk of falling by ensuring seniors do not have to stand while bathing.
Stairs are also a major concern. Simply clearing the stairs of loose objects can significantly reduce the chances of your loved one tripping and falling. A stairlift is also a viable option to reduce fall risk on stairs, since your senior sitting in a properly installed and maintained lift almost completely eliminates fall risk.
Around the house, other measures can eliminate falling hazards for seniors. Tucking away extension cords and removing excess furniture can go a long way towards keeping your loved one safe from falling.
Finally, mobility aids such as walkers and scooters can help reduce fall risk in seniors. Not only do these devices provide seniors with a better sense of balance, they can also offer your loved one a greater sense of personal freedom. Note that walkers must be adjusted to properly fit your senior, and that an occupational therapist should be on-hand to teach your loved one how to use a walker correctly.