September 23rd is Falls Prevention Awareness Day, and September is Falls Awareness Month. People over age 65 are at a greater risk for falls, and falls are the largest cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for seniors, according to the National Council on Aging. The total cost of falls injuries in 2015 was $50 billion, with Medicare and Medicaid covering the majority of those costs.
One places where seniors often fall is in the home. The good news, however, is that you can reduce their risk for falling with several simple changes around the home. Here are a few ways to reduce the chance for falls around the home. We encourage you to seek out more falls prevention tips with the help of an occupational therapist. Occupational therapists can even come to the home and provide tailored solutions for safer daily tasks and living.
- Add enough lighting. Take a look around your senior loved one’s home to do a lighting assessment. Where in the home could more lighting be added, to reduce the risk of falling? Provide more lighting where needed, and keep in mind that there are many inexpensive DIY lighting solutions nowadays.
- Get rid of throw rugs and other items that someone could easily slip on.
- Add grab bars and handrails in showers, near stairs, near toilets, and in hallways.
- Cut out the clutter. Here’s another reason to stay organized and clutter-free. Having too many “things” around can increase the risk for falls. If doing a full clean-out or reorganization seems too daunting, plan to do a room or half a room at a time. Target first the rooms where your senior loved one spends the most time to whittle down any disorganization.
- Recommend your senior loved one wear shoes and proper fitting clothing at home. Our home may be the place where we can kick back and relax, but there are some dangers with getting too comfortable. Encourage your senior loved one to wear safe, comfortable shoes, which can provide better support for the feet than walking barefoot. Also, baggy clothing can create a falls risk, so advise your loved one to wear clothing that fits just right.
- Invest in non-skid mats and rugs.
- Consider what falls hazard reductions your loved one can do on their own. This includes getting regular check ups and medication reviews (some drugs can affect our balance, increasing the risk for falls), getting vision and hearing checks, and doing regular balance and strength exercises.
Call Secure Aging to Find Out How We Can Help Seniors With Care Management
At Secure Aging in Bradenton, we transform the weight of the world into a sigh of relief for our senior clients and their concerned family members. The mission of Secure Aging is to protect and preserve our client’s independence and dignity through careful and thoughtful financial and care management. As our clients age, it is their desire to remain independent and age with dignity. Our services protect our clients from talented con artists looking to exploit and deplete the financial resources of our vulnerable seniors. Secure Aging helps families in Manatee County and Sarasota County and in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Call us at 941-761-9338, or visit us online at www.secureaging.com.