Home Safety is Coming Up in June

Home is the one place that everyone should feel safe. Unfortunately, there are dangers lurking inside the homes of many seniors putting them at risk of injury. Surroundings that were harmless in younger days may prove hazardous for older adults who are visually challenged, unsteady on their feet, or those who rely on transport equipment such as a walker or cane.

Fall risks such as throw rugs, poor lighting, and steps without hand rails are among commonly overlooked hazards that can create an unsafe environment. One in every three adults age 65 and older will fall every year, making this accident the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults, according to the CDC.

Home health care provides solutions for seniors who may be unaware of problem areas in their home. This is one of the many benefits of bringing caregivers into the home. Home health associates evaluate both a patient’s indoor and outdoor environment for fall risk. Risk assessments generally include recommendations of necessary support equipment, equipment procurement assistance, and hands on instruction of equipment use.

Home health care provides improved home safety that can help seniors retain their independence longer. Include fall assessment and prevention in your June marketing .

Here are some ideas to promote Home Safety:

  • Distribute fall prevention information to local worship communities and offer to teach a class on safeguarding against avoidable in-home accidents. Here are some simple home safety tips to share:

    • Exercise moderately every day to improve strength and balance.

    • Have regular eye exams.

    • Know your medications, some can cause drowsiness or dizziness.

    • Remove trip hazards: clutter, throw rugs, electrical cords.

    • Safeguard staircases with handrails and sufficient lighting.

    • Use nightlights in bedrooms, bathrooms, and hallways.

    • Install grab bars in and around showers, bathtubs, and toilets.

    • Store items you use often within easy reach.

    • Wear shoes with nonskid soles.

    • When rising, establish your balance before walking.

    • Keep a phone within reach with emergency phone numbers handy.

    • Set the water heater thermostat at 120°F to avoid accidental scalding.

  • Arrange for your team members to lead a discussion group at senior centers in your service area. Have your OTs emphasize the importance of exercise to maintain muscle strength. Be sure to have plenty of swag on hand to distribute to the attendees.

  • Be sure to include your local pharmacists in your home safety marketing strategy. Pharmacists make great referral partners as seniors often turn to them for advice regarding mobility challenges and transport equipment.

Visit TAGwebstore.com for fall prevention and other home health patient education material.

April is National Occupational Therapy Month

April is national Occupational Therapy month and the perfect time to promote the occupational therapy services your home health agency provides.

Many patients recovering from surgery or struggling with chronic illnesses have difficulty carrying out the activities of daily living (ADLs). Home health care provides occupational and physical therapists who help patients better manage their daily routines. Occupational therapists evaluate a patient’s home environment along with their physical capabilities to identify activities that might be difficult for them to accomplish. The therapists then create a program instructing patients in performing these daily tasks safely, which is especially useful for seniors who need to minimize fall risk.

Occupational therapists aren’t just concerned with functionality, they also provide emotional support. Therapists encourage patients to be kind to themselves and to accept that managing ADLs differently is okay. They teach energy conservation techniques to minimize joint stress, pain, and fatigue. Practicing energy conservation reduces the frustration of running out of steam by balancing rest and activity.

Energy Conservation tips:

  • Plan ahead by scheduling difficult tasks for when you have the most energy.

  • Take frequent short rest periods and lie down whenever possible.

  • The amount of rest you need and the amount of activity you can do will be different from day to day.

  • Avoid activities that cannot be stopped immediately if they become too much.

  • Sit to work whenever possible and rest before you feel tired.

  • Plan a balance of rest and activity, spreading the more draining tasks throughout the week.

  • Delegate responsibilities to others.

Here are ideas on how your agency can celebrate Occupational Therapist month:

  • Throw an OT party and invite former patients to share their success stories and take lots of photos to share on social media.

  • Highlight individual therapists in your social media posts. Have them share fun facts about themselves and give a short ditty about why they chose to become an occupational therapist.

  • Host a lunch & learn for your referral sources to point out all of the services you offer your patients and to seek feedback to improve your business.

  • Organize an OT get-together after work to facilitate team building and discuss the patients that have touched your heart.

Check out our online web store for materials to help promote your wellness message…