6 out of every 10 falls happen at home. With careful planning & prevention, you can make your home safer for yourself and/or your loved one. More and more seniors are staying & aging in their homes. They love their home, love their neighborhood and see no reason why they should move. And statistics show that people staying in their home as long as they physically & emotionally can, are better off than moving into a seniors home. But are their homes ready for them to age in their home safely or are they the same way they have been when the kids were home?
- Falls are the leading cause of injury among older seniors.
- 20-30% of seniors experience one or more falls each year.
- Falls are the cause of 85% of seniors’ injury-related hospitalizations.
- Falls are the cause of 95% of all hip-fractures.
- 50% of all falls causing hospitalization happen at home.
How to Prepare Your Home to Prevent Falls:
Trying to move around with low lighting can cause anyone to trip over something on the floor, rug or to bump into a piece of furniture. As seniors age, their is typically a decline in the sharpness of their eye site.
Go around your home and see if all areas throughout your home are well lit. That may include changing light bulbs to a brighter bulb or installing more lights in your home. Be careful about adding floor lamps as a solution, however, as you could trip over a cord trying to turn the light on.
Make sure that stairways are well lit. A large percentage of accidents happens on stairs that could be prevented with proper planning.
Your walkway from your bedroom to washroom needs to be well lit for that trip to the washroom during the night. Install night lights. If that is not strong enough, then get stronger lighting. Leave a hallway light on, and leave a light on in the bathroom. Leave a flashlight or your phone by your bed to let it guide you to the washroom during your nighttime trip.
Remove scatter matts. They’re a hazard! Only have non-slip mats in your home if you must have matts. But once the corners start to curl up on the matt, it’s time to get a new one!
Check your floors to make sure that you don’t have items like cords or little decorations that you could trip over.
Slippery tiles like travertine or marble, need to either be replaced them, yes a drastic measure, or covered with carpeting or a non-slip tile. They’re an accident waiting to happen, especially when they’re wet.
Clean up spills right away. They make a floor slippery and risky.
Stairs are a major cause of falls. Personally, I broke my ankle in two places tripping down the stairs because I was going too fast and there was no handrail to grab onto when I started to fall.
Check your stairs. Make sure they are free of clutter. Don’t put stuff on your stairs. Make sure your stairs are well lit and free of clutter. Do not put anything on your stairs.
Install handrails on both sides of your stairs. Make sure they’re not wobbly. Consider putting them on both sides of the wall.
Take your time going up & down the stairs. Do not be distracted when on the stairs.
And make sure your lighting is good on the stairs!
The #1 place for accidents in a home is in the bathroom, regardless if its a senior’s home or not!
If you have slippery floor tiles, either cover them with non-slip matts, or replace them.
Install grab bars by the toilet and bath to help you sit and stand. Make sure they are well anchored. Do not use grab bars that are the suction cup kind. It’s only a matter of time before they will come off.
Consider getting a walk-in tub or cut-out tub if you need them. Use a bath seat if needed, to make sure you don’t fall in the shower.
Using a raised toilet seat can also help you from falling in the bathroom.
Wipe up moisture or spills immediately.
Another big challenge we have in our home is clutter! Clutter just creeps up on us and slowly can take over areas of our homes. One senior’s home I went into had their hallway packed with so much stuff & actually added storage to her hallway to store stuff you could barely move past all her stuff to get into the house. An accident waiting to happen.
Go through your house with an objective eye and see what areas need to be decluttered. If its hard to be objective, take someone with you like a sibling or honest friend that will help you make wise decisions that’s best for your safety.
The above may seem like drastic measures, but preventing falls in your home is totally worth it to stay safe.
Which step(s) are you going to implement?
*Statistics from Stats Canada, Aging & Seniors, Fall Prevention.
Hi! I’m Debi Collinson. I’m a Designer & Real Estate Investor. — My design advise to the world is … styling your home is the BIG secret in having an Instagram worthy home as opposed to a ho hum look.
— My superpower is about styling to make your home stunning all while adding value to your home at the same time! — From a young age I grew up looking at blue prints, going on construction sites and offering my dad my opinion on color selections.
My father, a Professional Engineer, and co-owner of a Design|Build|Engineering firm, gave me an early view and interest into the field of designing, building and decorating. I wanted to become either an Architect or an Interior Designer and to join my father’s firm but my mother thought that the renovation/building industry was no place for a woman. LOL. So I took business instead and pursued a career in the corporate world. But that all changed in 2006 when I nervously staged my very first home. The sellers liked their newly styled home so much that they turned down an offer for full asking price and stayed. I went back to design school and the rest is history.
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