As you get older and frailer, or if you have a frail relative, one of the biggest fears you have is having a fall at home.
Whether it’s tripping on uneven flooring or slipping over in the shower, falls at home can be the difference between you or your relative living at home or going into a nursing home.
According to Talking Aged Care, 70% of people aged 65 or older spend time in hospital because they’ve had a fall.
Many of these falls can happen in your home, and there’s a few simple things that can cause them.
Here are four ways you can prevent you or your elderly relative from having a fall at home.
1. Fix or get rid of any tripping hazards
From that slippery rug to a hole in your garden or uneven path, tripping hazards are one of the biggest causes of falls in the home. That’s why it’s a good idea for you to go through your house and find every bit of uneven flooring, loose or slippery carpet and rugs and even possible hole in your backyard or garden. You should get rid of, fix or replace any of these hazards to be on the safe side. That’s where non-slip mats can come in handy.
2. Have rails and bars installed in risky areas of your home
No doubt you’ve seen homes with hand rails and grab bars in their bathrooms, toilets or stairs. Well it turns out those bars and rails aren’t just for disabled people. In fact, if you’re concerned about slipping over in the shower or getting on and off the toilet, then it might be a good idea to install hand rails or grab bars in your bathroom and toilet. They’re also very helpful if you have a tricky set of stairs in your home.
3. Give your house a tidy up
Piled up boxes, clutter and all those other ‘obstacles’ you dodge as you move through your home can be a real risk of having a fall in your home. There’s no better time to get in, declutter your home and get rid of that old stack of magazines or that pile of boxes. You should make sure your main areas of movement such as hallways and stairs are clear of any objects, and you should make sure you have plenty of space to move through other areas of your home such as your living room, kitchen and bedroom.
4. Make sure your home is well lit
Stumbling around in the dark can be another common cause of falls in the home. That’s why it’s important to have your home well lit. If you have to get up in the night to go to the loo, why not have lamps in your house to turn on as you find your way to the light switches. There are also motion sensor lights on the market that you can place in your hallways or on your stairs for that late night toilet break. If your rooms seem dimly lit, try installing brighter bulbs to help your vision.