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Here Are 5 Things Every Home Should Have To Be Fall Proof

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Here Are 5 Things Every Home Should Have To Be Fall Proof

For seniors 65 and older, falling poses as one of the biggest risks of death and industry. According to the CDC, one out of every five falls leads to serious injuries — including broken bones and head injuries — and over three million seniors go to the emergency room from fall related injuries.

Fall related injuries are actually one of the easiest risks we can alleviate as we prepare a home for one those who choose to age in place. Unlike sicknesses and other less controllable factors, preventing falls is easy.

fall death rates-CDC-fall prevention

There are many things that factor into why older adults fall, this includes lower body weakness, vision problems, home hazards, and certain medications. Most falls are caused by a combination of factors, so it can be difficult to target why someone falls. However, you can take preventative measures to reduce the risk of falls by investing in products aimed towards fall prevention. Below are five things every home should have to be fall proof.

  • Step Stools For Getting In and Out of Bed
  • One of the most basic activities that a senior engages in on a daily basis is getting in and out of bed. For many, this task is easier said than done. Seniors who have complications with sleeping, pain, going to the bathroom, and memory are all at risk for falling. When one is waking up from being asleep, they may experience increased difficulty entering and exiting their bed. Step stools for seniors such as the step2bed makes it easier for seniors to get in and out of bed. A step stool provides added support to the senior by reducing the distance one needs to climb to get into bed from the floor. Some step stools have grab bars on either side to help support the senior’s balance. The Step2bed in particular has a motion activated light so the user can see where they are stepping when they get in and out of bed.

  • Shower Bars and Anti Slip Grips
  • The bathroom can pose as one of the most dangerous places for seniors. Baths and showers can become slippery when wet, making falls more likely to occur. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a bathroom safety checklist for seniors to cover all grounds. The checklist can include Adding a mat to your bath or shower can help seniors reduce the risk of falls. These mats are commonly made of plastic or silicone, and they help make the surface of the bath or shower less slippery.

    You can also add a bath step stool with handrails that makes getting in and out of the tub safer. These provide a firm grip to safely plant your feet with each movement, thereby avoiding falls and injury.

    Shower bars are a great product to add to the walls of your bath or shower. These bars provide added support when one is bathing. Combined with a shower mat, these products can immensely help reduce the risk of falls.

  • Motion Activated Lights and Nightlights
  • Adequate lighting is essential for fall prevention and seniors should not be walking around in the dark. One modification seniors make to their home is to install motion activated lights. Ideal locations to place motion activated lights are in hallways, staircases, by the bedside, and in bathrooms.

    If this doesn’t appeal to you, you can place nightlights in these places as well. Some night lights have timers that turn on when it is dark outside, and off during the day. These lights plug into standard outlets and are hassle free.

  • Toilet Seat Risers
  • For those who are capable of using the restroom on their own, toilet seat rises are a great product to reduce the hassle of getting on and off the toilet. This is especially useful for seniors who are in a wheelchair, as the distance from the toilet to the chair is reduced. Most toilet seat risers are affordable, making them a great product to invest in.

  • Lift Chairs
  • Although a bit more expensive, lift chairs are ideal for seniors who want to remain independent in the home. Lift chairs tilt slightly forward when the occupant is ready to get out of the chair, giving them the boost necessary to get up. If this is too much of an expense for you, check with your insurance company to discuss possible coverage. If not, consider investing in a pre-owned lift chair.

    Like most challenges - creating a fall proof home can be intimidating at first. The important thing to do is to identify where falls occur most. We then must ask ourselves why or how they occur there. With research and common sense - we can make this challenge much simpler and easier.

    Aging can be an intimidating time in one’s life, and the added risk of falls can make day to day activities stressful. By implementing additional products in a seniors life, they can make aging in place easier and more accessible.

    Vince Baiera

    Vince Baiera is the founder of step2health, a mobility aids and wellness company for older adults. He is a former ICU Nurse of the Cleveland Clinic and Duke University Hospital in the Cardiac ICU. With years of working on the frontlines, Vince noticed the struggles of older adults and people with mobility issues that became an impediment for both patients and their caretakers. He then designed and created the patented product, Step2Bed (and its variants) that helps seniors and those with mobility issues safely get in and out of bed. His philosophy concerning aging is to plan ahead and start with simple home and life modifications to avoid being overwhelmed at retirement.

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