Elderly people often become vulnerable due to lack of mobility and weak limbs, which can cause a fall. These falls can be quite serious, therefore it is very important to fall-proof your house as well as to be vigilant while you are out and about with an elderly person.
Here are a few tips to help you fall-proof your home:
- Avoid loose rugs. Be sure all rugs have anti-skid backings or pads to prevent slips.
- Do not clutter your space with furnishings as people with mobility issues need space to maneuver. Excessive or misplaced furniture can lead to bumps and sudden falls.
- Stairs can be cumbersome for elderly to climb, so try to keep your loved one on the ground floor or provide them with a stair lift. If neither is possible, then do whatever you can to make stairs as easy and comfortable as possible to climb. Apply high visibility tape and friction tape on the edge of each step. Make sure to keep the stairway well-lit.
- Bathrooms are one of the most common places where falls occur. Install devices such as a raised toilet seat, safety rails, a shower chair, and non-skid mats and flooring.
In addition to making modifications to your home, it is important to help your loved one feel confident outdoors as well. It is important to take them out for regular outings and let them know how to manage when away from home. Educate the elderly about the side effects of medications. It may be wise to advise them to avoid walking or going outdoors immediately after taking medication.
Encourage your loved one to practice a healthy lifestyle, such as going for a morning walk only after sunrise when the day is bright and avoiding going out in the late evening when the visibility is poor. Keeping this in mind, it is best to stay indoors or in covered places during adverse weather conditions, especially during the rainy and snowy seasons, and to enjoy the sunshine whenever possible.