As you start to age, the risk of falling in your home increases significantly. According to the CDC, “Each year, three million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.” Falls can have serious consequences for people who are 65 years or older. Outside of broken bones, you also run the risk of hitting your head. For seniors on blood thinners, this is particularly dangerous. Unfortunately, the CDC also warns that the amount of fall related deaths in the U.S. have increased by 30 percent from 2007 to 2016.
This information isn’t to alarm you, but to illustrate why fall-proofing your loved one’s home is a critical step in ensuring the safety of an older adult. There are so many benefits of home health care for seniors, but in order to make the home as safe as possible, you may need to modify living areas. This is particularly true if you’re caring for a loved one who is living with dementia or recently arrived back home after surgery. Alzheimer’s home care also presents a raised risk, since Alzheimer’s patients can get confused about their surroundings. Here are a few tips from an interior designer that will help you fall-proof your home.
Lighting is not simply for safety, it also offers our homes ambiance and a cozy feel. From accent lighting and wall sconces to LEDs and desk lamps, there are so many to choose from. Lighting your spaces well is particularly important for those with Parkinson’s, but can apply to anyone who is 65 years and older. You’re less likely to fall if you can clearly see obstacles in front of you. Make sure there are switches for places like stairs at the top and bottom, so you can light your way no matter if you’re going up or down. For an interior designer’s point of view, a well lit room is also a great design element.
Over time carpet ages and can pose a tripping hazard. If your loved one has lived in the same home for many years, it may be time to get new carpeting or remove carpeting altogether. There are many advantages to getting new flooring. One advantage is that it’ll revitalize and breathe new life into your space. The other reason is that it’ll make home care for Alzheimer’s patients and other seniors safer. New flooring is one way to give your home renewed energy and ensure that rippled carpet or worn edges are no longer a tripping hazard.
Although rugs are a great design element, and can add color and texture to a space, they can also cause falls. If you need a large area rug, make sure it’s securely fastened to the ground. If you’re missing the color and texture of a rug, consider adding decorative pillows to the furniture or investing in some new wall art to brighten up the space.
The ability to add handrails in specific locations is one of the benefits of home health care. For example, if your steps only have a handrail on one side, you should add another on the other side for safety. You can add grab rails in the bathroom around the toilet and shower. Make sure that all of these rails are secured and sturdy. Replace any handrails in your home that have gotten a little wobbly over time, because they won’t be very useful in helping you stabilize. Today, there are so many beautiful handrail options to choose from. With varying styles and materials, a handrail can add beauty to your loved one’s home, both indoors and outdoors.
Whether you’re participating in Alzheimer’s home care or you’re just a senior with reduced eyesight, installing automatic night lights around your home can help prevent falls. You can easily shop for nightlights with built in sensors. These nighlights plugin and turn on when a room goes dark ensuring that a late evening trip to the bathroom or kitchen is safe.
The shower can be a dangerous place, because it’s slippery and you have to maneuver in and out of the tub. If you don’t have the means to install a safety tub, consider getting non-skid strips for your shower. Between non-skid strips and grab rails, your bathroom will be a lot safer.
There are so many electric cords for all of your various devices nowadays. If left unbundled, these can be a tripping hazard. Consider buying cable management sleeves and then making sure they’re run as close to the wall as possible. Not only will this be safer, it will also appear more aesthetically pleasing, because you won’t see a million wires all over the place.
Replacing tall beds with a lower frame that’s easier to get in and out of can help prevent falls. You may even opt to install guardrails if falling out of bed has become an area of concern. Each individual’s needs will be different based on their mobility. Shop around and see what will work best for you.
Fall-proofing your home reduces your risk of experiencing a dangerous fall. In order to reap the benefits of home health care, you need to feel safe and secure in your living arrangement. Taking the necessary precautions early on is a great way to prevent injuries in the first place and give a home a much needed facelift.