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.