Elderly Care: A Checklist for Preventing Falls

3817638933_8f6cafda14In 2012, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that one out of three adults 65 and over falls each year. The outcomes of these falls can vary, but they almost always result in decreased mobility for elderly adults and can cause other complications down the road. The CDC also reported that falls are the leading cause of injury death among seniors, so it’s vitally important to make sure your loved one’s home is adequately modified to prevent falls. Below is a checklist to help do this.

All Rooms

  • Use carpet with short dense pile.
  • Apply double-sided carpet tape to rugs that can slip.
  • Arrange furniture so you can walk easily around it.
  • Make sure electrical and extension cords are not in your walking path.
  • Make sure you can turn on lights without having to walk through dark areas. Use nightlights, especially in the bathroom.
  • Keep exits and hallways clear.
  • Use stable chairs with armrests to help you getup.
  • Provide bright, evenly distributed light.
  • Use window shades that reduce glare.
  • Make sure you can easily reach a light switch when you come into a room, and install nightlights.
  • Have more than one phone in the house.

Stairs

  • Put handrails on both sides of the steps.
  • Make sure steps are even.
  • Use non-skid contrasting tape, rubber stair treads, or coated skid resistant surface treatment on non-carpeted stairs. Apply tape to dry, clean surfaces at one-inch intervals. Use three long strips of tape on each step.
  • Check carpeting to make sure it is firmly attached along stairs.
  • Make repairs to worn or loose carpet promptly.
  • Select a carpet pattern that doesn’t hide the edge of steps, making you think steps have ended when they haven’t.
  • Don’t place throw or scatter rugs at the top or bottom of stairways. All rugs should be secured firmly to the floor.
  • Use good lighting (at least 60 watt bulbs) in the stairway. Install on/off switches at the top and bottom of stairs.
  • Never leave books, purses, packages, or other objects on stairs.
  • Watch out for a single step. People often trip when there is only one step.

Kitchen

  • Use sturdy step-stools — preferably with handrails.
  • Throw out any step-stools that have broken parts.
  • Clean spills immediately to avoid slipping.

Bathroom

  • Use rubber bathmats or strips in bathtubs and showers.
  • Install at least two grab bars in the bath.
  • Clean up water from the floor.
  • Use raised toilet seats and/or handrails, securely fastened, if you are at all unsteady.

Outside

  • Install handrails along any flight of outdoor steps.
  • Spread sand on icy walkways.
  • Clean spills or slippery surfaces in garage immediately, before walking on them (especially grease on cement floors).

Encompass Senior Solutions “ currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa ” provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the available care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. All Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or licensed clinical social workers with no long-term contracts. Contact us today for help with your senior care needs.

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“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.encompass-assessments.com.”