Falls in the home are a frightening issue for older people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 4 older people fall down each year and half of those folks don’t mention it to their doctor. It is hard to admit when our bodies start to fail us, but one fall makes the next more likely.
At Carlson Projects Inc., we have a Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) on staff because we want to help our older clients, friends, and family live safely and comfortably. The CDC informs us that falls are “the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries” and cause “more than 95% of hip fractures.” With 800,000 fall injuries seen in the emergency room each year, and 300,000 of those needing hospitalization, we need to come up with ways to prevent and mitigate these falls in the home.
Here are our 8 tips to prevent and reduce the impact of falls in the home:
We start with exercise because a strong body is more likely to avoid and recover from a fall. Exercise on a regular basis and focus on leg strength and balance. Classes on tai chi and yoga can be affordable and their focus is maintaining balance and strength with low impact. If you’re in Lincoln, NE, we would highly suggest contacting Aging Partners or the local YMCA, but you can even practice from the comfort of your own home with online tai chi or yoga.
2. Clean up the clutter
Keep your home clean and clutter-free. This may involve having a loved one, cleaner, or licensed care worker come in to help regularly. However, keeping the floor plan clear and simple can be invaluable for navigating safely.
3. Keep track of your medications
It is important to always be on top of your medications. Every medication has different side effects and interactions, so it is vital to stay current with your doctors and to regularly discuss what medications you are taking and how they will affect you. Make sure all of your medications are within their expiration dates, that you are taking them at the right times, and that you know if any of them could affect your balance.
4. In-home care
Take advantage of any in-home care services that are available to you. In-home care is great for helping with meals, chores, and light housekeeping, but it also has someone in the home regularly to check-in. Sometimes the best help comes from simply having another set of eyes in the home. We have been blessed, in Lincoln, NE, to have great service providers like Guardian Angels and Care Consultants. But be sure to check with your insurance provider to see if they do house calls to investigate for different services you may be eligible for.
5. Free Aging-In-Place assessment
Aging-in-place specialists are trained by the National Home Builders Association (NAHB) to evaluate homes with an older person’s safety in mind. Schedule a free evaluation for yourself or your loved one today for ideas on how you could change small things around your house to avoid falls.
6. Grab bars
Grab bars and handrails are easily installed by your Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist. These small grab bars can be put anywhere, not just in the bathroom. Perhaps you or your loved one needs help keeping their balance on the stairs or getting out of their easy chair. This easy addition gives them added stability and can save them from falling all the way to the floor.
Another area that your Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist can help is with lighting. Make sure that you or your loved one’s home is well lit to avoid missteps. As we get older, it gets harder to see in dim light. We will also make sure that light switches are easy to reach and in convenient locations.
8. Medical alert device
Consider getting a medical alert system. Some may consider these as “worst-case scenario” devices, however, they could make the difference between a fall that requires hospitalization or not because of response time to the fall. Alert systems range from $15 to $100 per month and come with a ton of different options to help you or your loved one in case something were to happen. Here is an article with recommendations for The Best Medical Alert Systems of 2021.
Where Carlson Projects Inc. comes in:
We at Carlson Projects Inc. are more than just your Lincoln roofing and remodeling experts, we honestly care about our older clients and want them to live their best and safest lives. Contact us today for your free Aging-In-Place consultation and breath a sigh of relief knowing that you’ve done all you can to make you or your loved one’s home safe.
For more on Aging in Place, take a look at our blogs Aging in Place Remodeling and Aging In Place Specialist on Carlson Project’s Staff.
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