Accidents at home rank among the leading cause of injury and death for seniors. Statistics show that those over the age of 75 are
almost four times as likely to be injured or even die from an accident at home than those under age 75. The most prevalent of home accidents are falls. Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head traumas, and can increase the risk of early death. Checking your home and the home of loved ones is important in helping to prevent falls as well as other accidents at home.
Keeping floors and steps clear of obstacles is imperative. Sufficient lighting with easy to reach and see switches is also important. Glowing light switches at the top and bottom of stairs, in hallways, kitchen and baths can be installed by an electrician.
Non-slip rubber mats or self-stick strips on the floor of bath tubs and showers are easy to install. Grab rails in the tub or shower and next to the toilet require a professional or a handy family member for installation but are an important addition for support.
Making sure there are sturdy handrails on both sides of all stairs. Checking throw rugs to make sure there is a non-slip backing on them so the rugs won’t slip will help avoid accidents at home. If not, double-sided tape is easy to install. Reducing or eliminating throw rugs altogether is best as they are one of the most common causes of falls.
Electrical cords are another source of falls. Make sure all cords are coiled or taped next to the wall so they can’t be tripped over. Step stools shouldn’t be used at all if possible. Ask a family member to put often used things on lower shelves so the need for a step stool is limited. Never use a chair or any object that is not designated as a step stool to recover items higher than you can reach easily.
Stay in the kitchen while cooking. If you have to leave, even if you think it is just for a moment, turn off the burners before you leave.
Dinner can wait a few minutes but fires are scary and very dangerous . If you should experience a fire get out NOW and call 911 from a neighbors house. Don’t try to put it out! I read someplace that we have less than a minute to get out of a burning home before the smoke or flames harm us. Nothing is worth more than our lives so GET OUT!
Pets and pet dishes are a common source of falls. Watch every step you take to make sure your pet isn’t under foot and keep the pet water dish and food dish in a spot where a spill won’t be where you ordinarily walk. Check often for water spills around the pets dishes.
Another thing you can do to help prevent accidents at home is exercise regularly. Exercising helps balance and coordination.
Have your doctor or pharmacist look at all the medicines you take as some may make you dizzy or sleepy. Have your vision checked at least once a year. Wear shoes both inside and outside. Keep emergency numbers near each phone.
Hopefully this article will spur more ideas to help us and our loved ones from a serious accident.
See you next time,