Most people think very little about falls until they become older, or have aging parents. As you age, brittle bones can cause falls to be a serious danger, with the possibility of a broken hip or worse. Added onto this that many aging seniors have trouble getting back up, avoiding falls becomes an important issue.
Fortunately, over the years, we’ve learned many ways you can help lower your parent’s fall risk, so they can stay safer in their home. Read on as we share a few of them with you.
1. Remove Tripping Hazards
This may seem obvious, but it’s worth carefully going through your parent’s home and looking for every possible hazard that could trip them up (pun intended!). This could be a raised mantle at the front door, an uneven spot on the floor, or decorations that stick out just a little too far.
Remove any trip hazard that you can, and when you can’t, make sure you place extra safety measures in those areas should a fall occur.
2. Add handrails in fall prone areas
Some tripping hazards can be removed, but what about slips or areas where tripping is more likely? Adding a handrail to these areas can make a big difference. Handrails are great almost anywhere, especially if your parent tends to grab onto objects as they go by to help steady themselves.
3. Check furniture quality
If your parents are prone to grabbing on to things as they go by, make sure their furniture is secure and sturdy enough to hold up to being grabbed. Bolt bookshelves to the wall, press on chairs to see if they can be easily tipped and collapsed, and replace anything that is extremely flimsy or easy to overturn.
Sturdy furniture can go a long way to help reducing falls and keeping your loved one safe.
4. Encourage Exercise
According to Science Daily, one common cause of falls is weakening muscles from lack of use. You can help prevent falls indirectly by encouraging your parents to exercise. A walk as a family can help strengthen their muscles and make it more likely that even if they fall, they’ll be able to get up again.
5. Use adequate lighting
Trips and falls often happen in places where it is too dark to see changes in the floor. Installing nightlights can help make it easier to see in the dark, and lighting up areas that were dim before can help make a big difference in your parent’s ability to see.
6. Provide Help
If your parents have fallen in the past, or are particularly wobbly, you may want to hire the help of a caregiver to keep watch when you are unable to. A caregiver can help with scheduling and getting to a doctor's appointment to rule out if falls are occurring because of a medication error, undiagnosed condition or something else. They can also be there to take a walk together and offer a steady hand in fall prone areas, to minimize the risk of falls.
If you’re worried about your parents falling, these tips can help make their home less dangerous. The safer you can make their house, the less risky it will be for them to stay in their home.