According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every four older adults will fall each year in the United States, and one out of every five falls causes a serious injury, such as broken bones or a head injury.
Falls are common, scary, and costly, but they are also preventable. It’s important that we take the necessary precautions to protect the adults in our care. Below are some practical safety tips you can implement in your home to help reduce the fall risk for seniors:
- Clean up clutter around the home by removing boxes, newspapers or clothes from floors and walkways
- Remove rugs and repair tripping hazards such as torn carpet or uneven floorboards
- Install non-slip bath mats in and outside the shower
- Consider adding handrails or grab bars next to the bed and in the bathroom
- Get nightlights to illuminate rooms and hallways during the evening hours
Additionally, if you have a senior in your home who is receiving hospice care, there may be medical equipment in your home including:
- Hospital bed
- Bedside commode
- Geriatric chair
- Shower chair
- Oxygen equipment
If you have any equipment in your home, it’s important to work with your hospice team to create an optimal setup for your home and arrange equipment so it doesn’t obstruct walkways or inhibit your ability to perform standard tasks in the home.
One way to mitigate fall risks in your home is to designate a storage room or closet where you can keep medical supplies when they aren’t in use. This ensures only necessary medical equipment is out, and all other equipment can be easily accessed when needed.