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4 Basic Fall-Prevention Tips Every Senior Should Know

Jun 30, 2018 by Comfort Keepers Denver

Did you know that almost two and a half million visits to the emergency room every year are due to seniors falling and hurting themselves? And 95% of hip fractures result from falling?

What’s even more troubling is that the vast majority of these ER visits and hip fractures could’ve been avoided, with proper fall prevention.

If you didn’t realize how detrimental a simple fall can be to your senior's health, now you know. Here are some tips for keeping your senior safer:

Upgrade Your Bathroom

The bathroom is unarguably the slickest place in your home. In fact, this is where the most frequent kind of fall occurs –in your bathtub. People of all ages are liable to slip in it, and this danger only increases as you become less mobile and more feeble.

The solution? A bathroom renovation only can greatly increase your safety by preventing several of the most common falls.

Some examples of modifications you can make include:

  • Anti-skid mats on the floor and in the bathtub
  • Getting rid of the bathtub altogether and installing a walk-in shower
  • Install mounted dispensers for shampoos and soaps so you don’t have to bend down and pick up bottles (and have the risk of them cascading down into the tub, causing you to trip!)
  • Grab bars near the bathtub/shower and by the toilet
  • Or, a toilet topper that makes it easier to sit down and stand up when you have to go

Or, Move to a Safer Home

While updating the bathroom can greatly reduce fall risk, many other factors of the home can counteract this mitigation. Besides bathtubs, stairs are another large culprit.

A single-level home is not only safer for, but can also be a huge asset to you in the case of an emergency. How can you evacuate your home if you’re stuck at the top of the stairs and have to get out of the house pronto?

Additionally, downsizing your house can save you a lot of money and stress. What once used to be house full of kids, parties, hosting company, so on and so forth may now just be an empty money pit. Getting yourself a one-story townhouse – or even apartment! – can help you get rid of things you no longer need or use, and it will make navigating your day-to-day life easier and safer.

Some Wardrobe Changes

There are some other ways to increase your safety that you may not even realize. One of them, oddly enough, is your taste in clothing.

But don’t worry, you get to keep your sense of style – just be sure your clothing conforms to the following suggestions:

  • Don’t wear socks alone on slick floors, like wood or linoleum
  • Wear rubber-soled shoes and slippers, as they have more grip
  • Speaking of shoes, stick to ones you can easily walk in – ditch those high heels and slick dress shoes once and for all
  • Be sure your pants (any and all pants, from jeans to dress slacks to your pajama bottoms) aren’t too long and dragging on the floor

You may also consider adding some accessories to your wardrobe – like a cane or walker. Having a cane near the front door to help you go outside and get the mail, or a walker to walk the long stretch of hallway to your bedroom can make getting around your home not only easier, but quicker. You’ll also feel more confident with each step, as you’ll have a tool there to help.

These small changes can help keep you safer simply by avoiding little stumbles or trips, as these can turn into disastrous (and deadly) falls.

Let Go of Your Pride

The biggest takeaway from all of this is to understand your needs. You may feel ashamed or embarrassed that you have to modify your home or start wearing sturdier shoes because you’re prone to falling, but think about what your other options are.

Do you put aside your pride and use that walker you’ve been avoiding so you can go walk around the block with your neighbor, or do you stay cooped up at home alone for fear of falling? Or, worse – you risk it and forgo the walker, only to find your neighbor calling for an ambulance after you fell and broke your hip down the street?

Falls are incredibly serious and should be avoided at all costs. For the sake of your physical and mental well-being, keep these tips in mind and make the necessary changes to your home and lifestyle today.

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