Eliminating the risks of falls in your own home
As you age, the risk of falling or injuring yourself in your own home increases. The reasons for this can vary but are usually associated with instability due to impaired general health, weakness, lack of balance, impaired vision, mental health and deficiencies in your diet. Prescription medication, although a less common cause, is also a factor in falls. Unfortunately, one fall causing injury can pave the way for more falls, so it’s important to make your home as safe as possible to ensure you never fall in the first place. If you live in a two-storied home, it’s important to leave the stairs uninhibited, making sure items are not left lying near the staircase, or positioned near it. It’s also equally as important to make sure the stairs are maintained well. Damaged or worn carpet should be repaired or removed, and creaky steps should be checked to make sure they are not rotten or damaged. A sturdy hand rail should be in place for extra stability, or consult a professional to discuss the possibility of a chair lift upstairs. And lastly, making sure all landings, stairs and hallways are lit well at all times of the day. If you live in a single levelled home, there are still many hazards which could result in a bad fall. Any electrical cords should be tightly against walls, away from door entrances and secured to avoid trips. This is especially true with larger items such as televisions and stereos which could fall on the unsuspecting. Any uncarpeted areas such as wood, polished concrete or tiles should be walked on with care, making sure there are no wet patches. Bathrooms are a huge hazard, and are one of the major areas for accidents to happen. Having non-slip mats by the shower and in the shower could be the difference between showering successfully and ending up seriously injured. Hand rails or a specially made shower seat are a welcome addition in any home. If you are unable to shower without danger, make sure someone is around to ensure you manage – this may mean hiring a caregiver and/or having a family member close by. It may seem an unnecessary precaution to remove hazards in your own home – after-all, it’s your living area therefore you know it inside out. But failing health, growing old and night time toilet stops can be dangerous, therefore it’s important to age gracefully – eliminating and avoiding the dangers in your home.