As we age, mobility can become a challenge and falls can be a serious risk. The Canadian government reports that falls are the country’s leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations and injury deaths among people aged 65 or older. “Injuries from falls reduce older adults’ quality of life, increase caregiver demands, and precipitate admissions into long-term care,” Canada.ca informs, “The cost of treating fall-related injuries is high.”
What can be done to prevent falls for seniors with mobility issues?
Clear clutter and create safe pathways.
Clutter can create obstacles and trip hazards for seniors with mobility solutions. It’s important to keep walkways clear and free of debris. Remove any unnecessary furniture or objects. Secure loose rugs or carpets with non-slip backing or double-sided tape. Create a safe pathway throughout the home that is easy to navigate and free of obstacles.
Poor lighting can make it difficult to see obstacles and hazards, especially for seniors with mobility solutions. Make sure all areas of the home are well-lit, especially staircases, hallways and entryways. Consider installing motion-sensor lights that turn on automatically when someone enters a room. Also, ensure that light switches are easily accessible and within reach.
Wear proper footwear.
Wearing proper footwear can improve stability and reduce the risk of falls for seniors. Choose shoes with non-slip soles and good support. Avoid high heels or shoes with slick soles. Make sure shoes fit properly and are comfortable to wear.
Stay active and engaged.
Regular exercise can improve balance, strength and flexibility Encourage regular physical activity, such as walking, yoga or tai chi. As well, consider joining a local senior centre or community group to stay engaged and social.
Schedule regular vision and hearing tests.
Vision and hearing loss can increase the risk of falls for seniors. This is because they may not be able to see or hear obstacles or hazards. Be sure to schedule regular vision and hearing tests to ensure that these senses are functioning properly.
Consider professional home modifications.
If mobility challenges are significant, consider modifying the home to improve accessibility and safety. Modifications may include installing ramps, widening doorways or lowering countertops and cabinets.
Install grab bars and handrails.
Installing grab bars and handrails throughout the home can provide stability and support for seniors. Consider installing grab bars near the toilet, bathtub and shower. Make sure they are securely anchored to the wall. Handrails can also be helpful on staircases and in hallways to provide additional support.
Use mobility solutions.
Mobility solutions such as walkers, canes and wheelchairs can provide additional support and stability for seniors. Make sure the devices are properly fitted and in good condition and encourage their regular use.
By implementing these strategies and mobility solutions, seniors can take proactive steps to prevent falls and stay safe in their homes. It’s important to stay informed and aware of the risks, and to work with health care professionals and loved ones to create a safe and supportive environment.
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we offer a wide variety of home bathroom modifications and mobility solutions to bolster fall prevention in the home. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at [email protected]. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!