Your dad loves his home. He feels safe there, and he’s made so many improvements over the years that he cannot imagine moving. While his home may make him feel safe, the home that’s been perfect for raising a family may not be so great for aging. What can you do to eliminate common household hazards? How can home care assistance play a role in ensuring his safety at home? Here is a breakdown of possible hazards in each room of your dad’s house, and what changes can be made to reduce fall risk.
The bathroom is a leading room for falls due to the water from a bath or shower and slippery tile or linoleum flooring. There are multiple hard surfaces that can lead to significant injuries. These are the areas to address to prevent bathroom falls.
- Place non-slip strips or decals or a suction-cup bathmat on the shower or bathtub floor.
- Install grab bars near the toilet and both inside and outside of the bathtub.
- Add a fold-down shower seat if your dad struggles with balance.
- Add a raised toilet seat and safety handles to make it easier for your dad to stand up from his toilet.
- Swap out the showerhead with a combination showerhead and hand-held wand.
- Set the water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to lower the chances of scalding hot water forcing your dad to move quickly and possibly fall in the process.
Falls in the bedroom may not be as common, but they still happen. If your dad moves around a lot while sleeping, he’s at risk of falling out of bed, too.
- Install a non-slip rug or pad on the floor in case he falls out of bed.
- Add floor-level lighting to illuminate the path from his bedroom to the bathroom toilet.
- Make sure he has a seat in his room that he can use while putting on socks.
- Check that furniture like dressers are not sticking out into your dad’s path to the bathroom.
Hallways can be long and poorly lit, which increases the risk of a fall. Here are the things to address.
- Add floor-level LED lighting that turns on and off using motion detection or when it’s dark outside.
- Clear clutter, including pet beds, that could trip your dad up.
- Check that there are no loose cords that could catch your dad’s toes. If there are cords, get clips that secure them to the wall.
Kitchens are another area where falls are more likely to occur. Avoid those hazards with this checklist:
- Move the small appliances he uses daily to the counters. Appliances that he rarely uses can go into upper cabinets.
- Place an anti-fatigue mat in front of the sink and stove and ensure it has a non-slip backing.
- Shift pet dishes to an area of a living room, mudroom, or kitchen that is not a high-traffic area.
- Invest in a step stool or ladder that has solid rails to hold while climbing to get something.
The Living Room
A living room is usually a safer room, but there are things to address.
- Get rid of throw rugs.
- Make sure the furniture allows for easy movements and doesn’t jut out.
- Lighting must be bright and eliminate shadowy areas.
These are the things you need to address when it comes to stairways.
- Lighting needs to be bright at both the top of the stairs and the bottom.
- Handrails need to be installed on both sides of the stairs and secured to studs and not just sheetrock.
- Install floor-level LED lighting that illuminates the edge of each step.
How Home Care Assistance Can Help
Home care assistance makes a big difference when it comes to aging safely at home. From mobility assistance to help with cleaning and decluttering, home care providers play a vital role in making it possible for seniors to age in place. Safety is always one of the biggest concerns for seniors living at home, and home care assistance can be the best way to ensure that.