How to Prevent Falls in Your Home
If you look around home, you will probably notice many items that could potentially cause a person to fall. This can be particularly problematic if you have an elderly person either living with you or visiting your regularly. Because many falls can result in head trauma, it is important to do what you can do on the frontend to keep these episodes from happening in the first place. Thankfully, there are some simple steps that you can take in various rooms of the house to help make them safer for everyone involved.
Safeguarding the Bedroom
Older individuals tend to spend a lot of their time in the bedroom. As such, it is important to be proactive in making this area of the house as safe as possible. Begin by placing commonly used items as close to the bed as possible. This includes the bedside lamp and the telephone. This will keep a person from having to unnecessarily get up in the middle of the night. Clothes should also be placed in the closet in such a way that they can easily be reached. Putting them at arms length prevents an older person from unnecessarily having to reach for certain items. It is also helpful to have a nightlight in strategic areas of the bedroom to make it easier to see at night.
Making the Living Room Safe
You want everyone to feel welcome and comfortable in the living room, but it needs to be safe at the same time. No matter how big or small the area might be, you will want to place the furniture in such a way that it is easy to walk through the room. Make sure there is a clear pathway throughout. If you have rugs in the living room, make sure that they are secure to the floor so that there is no slippage. It is also important to make sure that any electrical or telephone cords are secure and not in any area where a person might walk. Make sure that the chairs in the living room are not too low to the ground. Older people have difficulty standing up unless a chair is raised off the ground. You will also want to make sure that light switches are located near the entrance of all rooms so that nobody must enter into a dark area before having light. Finally, keep all clutter out of walkways to make it easy for everyone to walk through without the risk of falling.
Focus on the Bathroom
You also want to take a look at the bathrooms in your home to make sure that they are safe, particularly for the elderly individuals in your life. You will want to start by placing a rug near the tub or shower that is non-slip. This helps people enter and exit the wet area more safely. You will also want to place a non-slip rubber mat in the tub or shower to prevent someone from slipping while bathing. Finally, placing some grab bars at strategic places around the bathroom will help prevent falls on the part of vulnerable individuals.
While you can never guarantee that a fall will not happen in your house, following these strategies will certainly minimize the risk. That is the key. In order to prevent a traumatic brain injury, you want to be proactive and do your part to keep your surroundings safe.