Tips for preventing falls in your home
A lot of older adults know that their environment can affect their health physically, but many may not realize that a comfortable and attractive home can also help reduce stress. In fact, home design and home safety can go hand-in-hand, especially when it comes to creating a senior-friendly space, to promote overall well-being as you age.
A top concern regarding seniors and safety is falling accidents. Rightfully so because falls are the most common cause of injury in adults over 65 in the United States. Falling can cause serious injuries and even death in older adults; however, nearly all falls are preventable.
Older adults can reduce the risk of falls by taking proactive measures to enhance balance through daily balance-oriented exercises. If seniors frequently experience dizziness or lightheadedness, it is advisable to seek medical advice to explore potential medication options for alleviating these symptoms. Equally important is the modification of a senior’s living environment to minimize the likelihood of falls.
Styling a Home for Fall Prevention
First and foremost, when planning a home’s design, it’s crucial to prioritize open and obstacle-free walkways and floor spaces to enhance safety. Consider using non-slip flooring materials that create smooth and even surfaces, low-pile carpet,
Aside from that though, there are a couple of ways to furnish and decorate a home in a way that looks appealing but also keeps the environment safe for seniors.
1. Non-Slip Flooring
Start with the basics and be sure flooring material is non-slip and creates smooth and even surfaces. If flooring includes carpet, be sure it is low-pile carpet with dense and firm backing. Secure all area and throw rugs to the floor with double-sided tape or rug grips. Loose or wrinkle drugs are common causes of falls.
Eliminate or minimize door thresholds between rooms to create a seamless transition. For seniors with mobility issues, thresholds are tripping hazards.
2. Renovated Lighting
Ample lighting is a crucial aspect of home fall prevention. Age-related changes in vision can indeed pose a hazard, increasing the risk of falls and accidents, especially in poorly lit or unfamiliar environments. To maintain both style and safety in a senior’s living environment, consider updating all fixtures to LED lighting. It is remarkably energy efficient, has an extended lifespan, and is very versatile.
3. Added Storage Space
Oftentimes, adults of any age fall while trying to reach cabinets or storage shelves that are placed too high on the wall. For older adults, trying to use a ladder or stool to reach objects can be dangerous, and it may be better to install newer, lower cabinets in the home instead. Alternatively, you can also bring in storage furniture meant to sit on the floor, like chests or end tables, to store items.
4. Brand New Bathrooms
Bathrooms are one of the most common places for senior falls to occur since they often have wet and slippery surfaces and floors. To reduce the risks associated with falls in the bathroom, consider a bathroom renovation that includes things like a curbless shower entry, the addition of grab bars, a built-in place to sit while showering, add a handheld shower head with a shut off on the head itself, be sure storage for toiletry items like shampoo, soap, and towels are within reach and not on the floor.
5. Extra Modern Safety Features
Today, there are tons of special safety devices that can be added to any room in a senior’s house to make it more accessible and safe. Stairlifts, ramps, railings, and electronic devices such as intercoms, remote-controlled lights, and digital doorbells are just a few features that can be seamlessly added to any room’s existing style.
Regardless of your choice in home upgrades for fall prevention, keep in mind that these updates also provide a great chance to infuse modern style and flair into your living space. As you introduce new furniture pieces, consider incorporating vibrant colors into each room, and embrace the enjoyment of the redesign process.
To add an additional level of protection from falls, consider a move to an independent living community like The Davis Community. Each cottage and apartment home has an emergency response system inside and health team on site. There are also exercise classes in the Fitness Zone to help with fall prevention. Connect with us to learn more!