In addition to being the number one cause of hip injuries in seniors, falls lead to around $50 billion being spent on medical costs each year. Plus, they can result in an ankle, arm, or wrist fracture, which can be dangerous for seniors, especially if they don’t have a “life alert system”. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your elderly loved one. Here’s what you need to know.
3 Tips to Modify Your Elderly Parent’s Home
1. Install Grab Bars
If your parent wants to age in place, put in equipment that they can use to support themselves throughout the day; this will help them stay safe while remaining independent. At a minimum, add grab bars to their shower, stairs, and hallways.
Also, keep in mind that there are different types to choose from. For example, straight bars are the most common, and they can be installed in multiple directions. Wave-style bars are similar, but the metal is twisted, providing a decorative element.
2. Assess the Lighting
Begin by inspecting the placement and power of their lighting. Because less light reaches the retina as you age, use bulbs with high wattage to ensure the fixtures are bright enough. Next, add lighting to areas where falls are common, such as stairways, bathrooms, and the kitchen. Finally, since falls are more common in the dark, put night lights in as many outlets as you can, and place a flashlight on the nightstand next to their bed.
3. Remove Unnecessary Furniture
While more mobile seniors may be able to avoid bumping into a stool, many cannot. Thus, remove any items that may get in the way of their walking path to give them extra room to maneuver. Plus, get rid of plush armchairs or recliners, as your loved one may lack the body strength to get up once they’ve sat down.