Falls are the leading cause of injury among older Canadians; 20-30% of seniors experience one or more falls each year. As we age, we are more prone to falling. However, there are many preventative measures that can be taken.
Living room and bedroom. Remove anything that could cause tripping or slipping when walking. This includes bags, loose wires and cords - cordless or wireless devices can prevent falls when rushing to answer the phone. Ensure that there are clear pathways throughout each room and make sure that the furniture is arranged so that it is easy to walk about freely. Area rugs and scatter mats look wonderful, but they are tripping hazards. It is best if rugs are non-slip, but if this is not the case, attach double-sided tape to prevent tripping and sliding.
Bathroom. Ensure that there are non-slip strips or rubber mats in the tub or shower. Grab bars are essential for preventing injuries when using the toilet or entering the bath or shower. It is important to check that all grab bars are anchored firmly. Any moisture on the bathroom floor must be wiped up right away.
Stairs. To make the stairway as safe as possible for seniors, be sure stairs are well lit and have solid handrails on both sides of the stairway. Make sure your loved one uses the handrails and their hands are free to grab onto the railings. It’s important they have support at all times to keep their balance. Tell them never to rush, and to take their time going up or down the stairs!
Lighting. Good lighting throughout the house is essential. This includes effective lighting at entrances, in each room and on the stairs.