As we age, our bones become more brittle and susceptible to sprains and fractures. Just one little fall can have a devastating impact on an elderly person, resulting in a reduced quality, chronic pain – even death. In fact, one in three seniors will experience a serious fall each year; half of those more than once, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, which also notes that falls are the number-one cause of injury-related hospitalizations among the senior population.
Perhaps the scariest statistic of all is the fact that more seniors are injured at home than any other location –the bathroom and stairs are where the majority of accidents occur.
Factors that can increase your risk of falling include the following:
(list courtesy of Health Canada)
Are you ready for some good news? You can take great comfort in knowing you can prevent falling. By taking some necessary precautions and adjustments to your abode, you’ll no longer be at a high risk in your home-sweet-home.
You can make your home safer and prevent falling by making simple changes to your bathroom, kitchen, living room, bedroom, stairs and kitchen.
With the combination of slippery wet surfaces and obstacles like the toilet, shower ledge and bathtub to easily trip over, it’s no wonder thousands of seniors are injured in bathroom-related accidents every year. Fortunately, there are numerous little things one can do to reduce their risk of taking a nasty spill.
You know that bath mat sitting on your floor that you purchased to match your toilet seat cover and towels? Yes it’s functional and may even compliment your colour scheme, however, that harmless looking piece of material is an accident just waiting to happen. All you have to do is step on it the wrong way before you’re sent flying across the room and cause some serious bodily harm like a broken hip. If you absolutely must have one, option for a rug with a non-slip back – one that won’t ripple or bunch.
Even a small puddle of water can put you at high risk for a fall. Always mop up any water on your bathroom floor as soon as possible.
Ideally, your shower mat should be composed of suction material to ensure it won’t slip out from under you. If your bath mat has lost its suction power, discard it immediately. Any parts that aren’t sticking can allow water to build underneath, causing it to float out of place. To protect yourself, invest in a high-quality bath mat that will prevent a slipping accident. Note: Always remember to secure the mat back into place after cleaning your shower/tub.
Many seniors who once enjoyed taking a nice soak in the tub now are opting for showers out of fear that they may be one of the many people to suffer from fall-related injuries every year. As a solution, consider purchasing a walk-in bathtub or shower for your home. Many health experts recommend walk-in bathtubs and showers as a means to reduce the chance of bathroom- related injuries as they continue to be a growing concern for the senior population.
If there are any boxes, clothes, loose wires or cords on the floor, make sure they are removed immediately. When you’re in a hurry, it’s all-too-easy to overlook these items and take a nasty fall.
Inadequate lighting doesn’t just put your eyes at risk – it also prevents you from noticing any potential safety hazards spills or clutter. Always ensure that your bulbs are changed as soon as they burn out and consider adding a stronger wattage if you find your bedroom and living room to be more on the dimmer side. You may even want to consider installing night lights throughout the house.
If you have any area rugs in your bedroom or living room, make sure they are placed on slip guards. Many falls occur when a rug slips out from one’s feet.
While spills are common in the kitchen area, so are dangerous falls. As soon as you or anyone spills, make sure you mop it up as quickly as possible with a dry cloth.
As we age, our bone density tends to shrink – for many, this means losing inches of one’s height. A stepping stool is a useful device to have on hand; especially in the kitchen area for those hard-to-reach cupboards. Before using a step stool, make sure it’s strong and stable. For additional safety support, consider purchasing a model with a safely rail attached.
It’s so easy to lose your balance, especially when reaching for a heavy object. Rather than risk taking a treacherous tumble in your kitchen while cooking, keep all heavy pots, pans and gadgets in the lower cupboards.
Next to your bathroom, the stairs are the most dangerous area in your home. While you don’t have to run and put your house on the market just because you stairs, there are ‘steps’ you can take to ensure you stay safe. The Public Health Agency of Canada lists the following four preventative measures:
As you can see, there are many easy and affordable ways to free your home from potential falls. Don’t delay another day – procrastination can put your health and independence at great risk!
A Walk-In Tub will allow you to stay in the home you love and the live the life you’ve always enjoyed. Why stop now? Get this FREE Information Package on Canadian Safe Step’s Walk-In Tubs. With this Information Package, you will learn about: