Accidents in the home, time for a safety assessment
During these upcoming holidays we have the opportunity to visit with family and friends we may not have seen in awhile. If that lists includes seniors, it’s a great time to start a discussion of senior care. Make sure a visit to their homes includes a safety assessment to find hazards and avoid those painful senior accidents.
Recent surveys have shown over 65 percent of seniors’ homes have potential safety hazards, and almost half of accidents in the home are avoidable. The survey also found that 85 percent of seniors do not take steps to get rid of home hazards as they get older.
Periodic safety inspections is a must to alleviate hazards and senior accidents
Several years ago I was attempting to help a family move their mother out of her home and into the safe protected environment of our senior community. Her daughter brought Carol for a visit and she loved it there, made a couple friends and was looking forward to moving in. The next day I received the call from Carol’s daughter, Mom fell last night at home and won’t be able to move the next weekend as planned.
Several weeks later, Carol’s daughter called me to let me know that Carol was coming home and asked if I could meet the family there the next afternoon. It sounded like Carol was starting to feel better and was thinking about delaying the transition and wanted to stay in her home a bit longer.
Immediately upon arrival, I started to point out items to the family that were accidents waiting to happen. Each electrical extension cord is a trap, the throw rugs must go (hate them), and do we need to even talk about the stairs. Very sincere and nice family, it was decided Carol was moving tomorrow. While saying goodbye to all, I was at the front door and then we all heard a noise and then the scream. Yep, Carol fell again; I hate those throw rugs. Carol broke her hip and never was not able to move in.
Millions of seniors end up in the hospital every year in the U.S. because of falls and other accidents — roughly a third of all hospital visits for people over age 65. Many of these injuries happen at home and could have been prevented with some careful planning.
Common senior accident issues include tripping hazards, like throw rugs, storage that’s out of reach or a lack of grab bars to hold onto in the bathroom. Older people are not as steady on their feet, and could benefit from these small improvements in the home.
If you see a step stool in the house be concerned, very concerned.
But some of the senior accident hazards are a little less obvious. Clutter in general can be a problem for seniors, especially in hallways that make it hard to maneuver around with a walker. Pets have been know to bring down a senior by accident.
The problem is twofold: seniors are more susceptible to falling as they age, and they are more likely to be injured when they do fall. Many seniors may suffer from impaired vision, muscle atrophy, cognitive impairment, and balance issues, making it harder to maneuver around without falling. Seniors who have diabetes, arthritis or had a stroke are also at increased risk.
The family needs to discuss the current medications being taken – they also play a role! And seniors need to be aware that what they’re taking might make them unsteady on their feet. Multiple medications, specifically combinations of drugs, can cause seniors to experience dizziness and other side-effects that can cause a fall.
Many safety suggestions rely on family members to help make the house a safe place. It just makes it so much easier to get things done when family members are talking about solutions and getting a plan together to prevent senior accidents.
Vista Living Senior Care and our team helps seniors improve the quality of their life by making our purpose built 10 resident Luxury Senior Care Homes in the Phoenix Arcadia area something special.
We urge you to consider Vista Living Senior Care for your family, please schedule a tour, we know we have something special. Let us show you.
For more information please call Vista Living Senior Care at 480-456-1919 or Visit VistaLiving.net.