Scheduling a professional to do a senior home safety inspection is a very good idea if you have fallen or think your loved one might have the potential to fall. Falls are the leading cause of accidents among those ages 65 and older and the largest single cause of death due to injury of the elderly. Environmental factors play a key role in the probability of a fall in the homes of the elderly. Most accidents occur in or around the home and MOST are preventable! Remember, home safety is important for people of all ages.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, “The Potential to Reduce Falls and Avert Costs by Clinically Managing Fall Risk” is the first report to estimate the number of medically treated falls that could be prevented and the direct medical costs that could be averted.
Preventing falls can benefit older adults substantially by improving their health, independence, and quality of life. The report found that the intervention with the potential to help the greatest number of older adults were those that provided home modification.
Sometimes solutions are as simple as furniture placement, lighting, non-slip surfaces, grab bars, handrails, and other modifications that could make your home safe from accidental falls for everyone.
Consider checking these areas for possible slip, trip and fall red flags.
- Entry points – Trip hazards, security peepholes, ramps, lighting, stairways
- Bathrooms – Tub/shower access, grab bars/handrails, lighting, slip hazards
- Bedrooms – Bed and closet access, window locks and operation, lighting
- Laundry Room – Ironing/ironing board, lighting, washer/dryer access, storage access
- Living Room/Den – Unstable furniture, lighting, window locks, trip hazards
- Kitchen – Trip hazards, window locks, appliance/cabinet access, unstable furniture
- Hallways – Handrails, trip hazards, lighting
- Garage/Carport – Access/traffic space, trip/slip hazards, lighting, garage doors, handrails
- Stairways – Handrails, trip hazards, lighting, light switch accessibility
- Basement – Handrails, slip/trip hazards, lighting, unstable furniture