Families rarely consider what can happen if a loved one takes a fall. We all can do some things around our parents homes and even our homes to reduce the possibility of an accident. According to the CDC the following are statistics related to falls:
- One third of adults over 65 suffer a fall each year
- 30% of adults who fall suffer injuries such as hip fractures or head traumas.
- Adults 75 years & older who fall are 4 to 5 times more likely to be admitted to a long-term care facility for a year or longer.
- Two-thirds of all falls occur in or around the home.
- Most falls occur from a standing height, such as tripping while walking and not from falling down stairs.
There are some adaptations that can be done throughout your whole home that can help to reduce the incidences of slips and falls. Just doing one or more of the following adaptations can help reduce the threat of falls:
· Locate electrical outlets 18 inches above the floor to reduce need to bend over
· Have electrical outlets spaced more frequently along the walls to prevent multiple extension cords
· Make sure electrical cords are not stretched across walk-ways
· Arrange furniture so that outlets are available for lamps and appliances without having to use an extension cord
· Prevent cords from running under furniture or carpeting
· If an extension cord must be used, run the cord along a wall
· Increase wattage of light bulbs for better clarity but do not cause a glare.
· Reducing glare from lighting by using frosted bulbs, indirect lighting, shades or globes on light fixtures, or partially closing the blinds or curtains.
· Install lighting that has two light bulbs so that if one burns out, there is still some light
· Install night lights to help prevent night falls
· Install lighting in all closets.
· Light areas evenly as shadows and dark areas can create trip hazards
· Arrange furniture so that walkways are clear
· Make sure closet rods are located at a height that can be reached easily without assistance
· All doors should be wide enough for a walker to get through without having to turn it sideways.
· Install carpeting that has low pile (low density) and a firm pad- consider commercial grade carpeting
· Floor transitions (thresholds) should be less than ¼” difference in height
· If possible, have all rooms on the same level
· Limit the number of pillows used on beds as extras on the floor may create a tripping hazard
· Make sure floor surfaces are smooth and slip-resistant but do not create a glare.
· Check that there are no area rugs without a good slip-resistance backing
The above items are just a partial list of things that you can do to help protect your loved one. There is nothing scarier than seeing your parent or your spouse fall. Slips and falls are such a prevalent situation for our seniors; shouldn’t we do as much as we can to make their lives or even your own life safer? Take care and please send me your comments- I would love to hear from you.
Alesha E. Churba of A.E.Churba Design: Simple and Divine Interior Design is the only Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) and Allied Member ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) with experience in Residential and Commercial Interior Design and Decorating in Southeast Idaho. Her business niche is primarily designing and decorating with her clients futures in mind- i.e. aging in place, color story investment, and designing for the long term safety and comfort of her clients. Alesha resides in Pocatello, Idaho. (208)-313-6414. Alesha@aechurba-design.com http://aechurba-design.com.