Seniors At Home: The 5 Riskiest Home Areas
Falls are especially dangerous for seniors because of the way it affects them. A significant number of deaths among seniors is caused by falls. The sad thing is that most of these falls happen right inside these seniors' homes. This is why it is a good idea to understand those areas in the home where you are prone to falls.
Now you or your loved ones can fall in just about any part of the house, but some areas are riskier than others. So this blog post will focus on the "riskiest" areas of your home in descending order of risk. Hopefully, you will be able to take steps to prevent those dangerous falls that can be disastrous for seniors.
With that in mind, let’s look at the 5 “riskiest” home areas:
Seniors experience a lot of accidental falls in hallways, and for a good reason too. You see, hallways are structured in such a way that they can be hazards to seniors. For one, most hallways are poorly lit. Then in most cases, they are filled with obstacles like rugs, slippers and all sorts of materials that impede movement.
So imagine a senior going about their activities (like an unattended, late-night trip to the bathroom) in a poorly lit hallway with lots of objects littered with different objects. Add this situation to a lack of support from the walls and what you have is a fall in the making.
The good news is that you could easily remedy the situation. One solution is to have bright motion-activated lights installed along the hallway. You could also install grab bars to provide the much-needed support for seniors using the hallway.
Now the risk level of falls for stairs is a notch higher because it often happens a lot. You’d be surprised at the number of seniors who fall while going up or down the stairs. It is quite easy to understand why this happens. Going up and down stairs
requires strength that most seniors don't have.
So it is easy for them to lose their grip and fall while going up or down the stairs. It gets worse when they have to use stairs that have no handrails. It might seem strange that seniors have to go up a flight of stairs when they can stay in single-story buildings. Well, that's by the way.
If you or your loved one stays in a multi-storied building, you could take care of the issues with the stairs by installing stairlifts. These eliminate the need to walk up and down the stairs. However, if you or your loved ones insist on moving up the stairs for exercise or other reasons, you should install very sturdy handrails on the stairs that support the seniors using the stairs.
There are a lot of activities going on in kitchens that could lead to slippery floors. Oil, water and all other sorts of liquids spill on the kitchen floor and make it a hazard for seniors moving around there. Falls in kitchens are even worse off since many sharp objects are there that could cause serious injuries.
So to make the kitchens less risky for seniors, we recommend that you ensure that the floors are kept dry at all times. You might want to use anti-slip mats or rugs for the kitchen floors. Declutter the kitchen as often as possible so that the seniors are less likely to stumble on any obstacles that might impede movement in the kitchen.
It is also recommended to have wireless call buttons placed in the most risky areas, such as the kitchen and the bathroom. This way, you know that measures will be taken in case of emergency.
You can't avoid using the bathroom. So many activities go on there, and most times, you or your loved ones often have to use bathrooms at even odd times. That is why it is one of the ‘riskiest’ areas in a home. There are a lot of wet surfaces that will cause anyone to slip in the bathroom, let alone a senior.
You could reduce the risks of falls in the bathroom by taking a few inexpensive steps. The first would be to install grab bars in and around the bathtub and toilet. They will provide the support that the seniors need to maintain their balance while using the bathroom.
The second step would be to have some anti-slip mats installed around the bathroom to minimize the occurrence of slippery floors that cause slips and falls. You also want to remove rugs that do not have suction cups under them. Such rugs easily move when stepped on, and this could cause slips and falls.
Another great idea would be to declutter the bathroom as often as possible. Keep the toiletries where they should be at all times. A clear, dry bathroom floor is every caregiver’s goal because it reduces the risks of slips and falls.
Many falls occur in the living room, mostly because of obstacles. For instance, you'd find a lot of carelessly placed furniture, the odd loose cable and of course, lots of throw rugs. Add all of that to poor lighting, and it is only a matter of time before a fall occurs in the living room.
We recommend arranging the furniture properly to avoid them becoming an obstacle. For example, you could place any cables in living areas where they won't obstruct movement. Behind furniture, under carpets and securing them to the walls or ceiling are some options for securing the cables.
You could also ensure that you use smart lights that come with a voice-activated controller so that you or your loved ones don’t have to move around a poorly lit living room. You might also want to get rid of the throw rugs if you can't secure them to the living room floor.
Your home could also be a source of accidental falls, slips and very serious injuries. Seniors who prefer not to live at assisted homes run the risk of falling in some areas of their homes. We believe that if you are aware of these areas, you will be better positioned to eliminate the possibility of falls in those areas. The blog post you just read described 5 of the ‘riskiest’ areas in a home. Hopefully, you will apply the insights to good use.