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Safety Tips

Safety Icon.jpgPrioritize Safety

As your loved one ages, balance becomes more of an issue. Our homes can potentially become dangerous without fall-preventive modifications. Unfortunately, your loved one may not admit or realize they need help. So, it is up to a family member to notice signs of impairment and difficulty performing routine activities for daily living.

Signs Your Loved One May Need Help:

  • Difficulty keeping track of time

  • Over-sleeping 

  • Poor diet or weight loss

  • Extreme mood swings 

  • Loss of interest in activities

  • Difficulty standing up or walking, balance and mobility

  • Unexplained bruising or injuries

  • Marks on walls, furniture being used to help with stability 

  • Uncertainty when conducting tasks (e.g. forgetting to take medications, taking incorrect dosages, or missing important appointments)

  • Continuously using of poor judgment (e.g. falling for scams, giving away money)

Preventing Falls

Falls are one of the most serious threats to an older person’s quality of life. In adults 65 and over, 1 in 3 fall in a year, and of those, 20-30 % have falls that cause moderate to severe injuries, such as fractured hips which will radically alter the course of life. Falls are a leading cause of admission to hospitals and nursing homes, and a predictor of death within one year of up to 25% of people who have a fracture.

There are a number of causes of falls which are preventable, although some are not. Many falls are due to spontaneous fractures that are the result of osteoporosis, cancer, or other diseases. Many are the result of decreased cognitive functioning which comes with Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Vascular (stroke related) Dementia, or Parkinson’s. For instances that lead to a fall, all one can do is help the older adult stay in good physical and emotional health. Another great preventative measure and lower risks is to regularly see a geriatrician. 

Bathroom Safety

As we age bathrooms may become dangerous spaces due to the slip floors and hard surfaces. Try these tips to ensure you and your loved ones safety in the bathroom: 

  • Throw out or secure bath mats with double stick tape.

  • Put non slip strips, mats or tiles in your tub and shower to help prevent falls. 

  • Keep the tub clean to counteract slippery soap scum or mold.

  • Try using a weighted shower curtain to help ensure that no water leaks onto the floor.

  • Place grab bars or rails in or around the bathtub, shower and toilet. When installed properly and securely, this will help with balance and provide something to hold on to if slippery. 

  • Put a nightlight in and on the path to the bathroom. 

  • Consider buying a toilet seat extender or a toilet with a higher seat, that way your senior can get up safely and with less effort.

  • Put a bath or shower seat or bench in the shower or tub.

  • Equip your senior’s shower with a handheld or adjustable shower head

Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain and hip injuries for older adults. Installing slip-resistant grab bars in the shower/bath area is a nonnegotiable safety measure. Choose bars that are bolted to the wall, ideally to a stud, rather than models that use suction cups.

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