Dont Fall for Fall!

Posted on

Nov 06, 2015

Share This
This is my third article for the senior blue book, and as fall is approaching a piece on falls or rather not falling seems appropriate.

I meet a lot of people every week as I work with them to make their homes safer, but there is a common thread to conversations in relation to falls.

I am returning home from a rehab center or hospital after a fall and now looking to stop it happening again or allow me to remain in my home while I recooperate.
I have fallen in the past and think it would be a good idea to look at what I might need.
Its not for me I am fine, just something in-case we have visitors or to keep my spouse safe.

In 2013 the CDC reported 2.5 Million non-fatal falls were treated in the emergency room with 750,000 requiring hospitalization. Of the 250,000 hip fractures in the same year 95% were from falls, falls impact quality of life, bank balance, family, overall health and in some cases longevity.

So how do you reduce the risk of falling, as they always say the best defense is a good offense. Be proactive, saying you are fine even as you know yourself that it is harder to do what you used to do is moving you further into the going to fall category. Here is a list of some of the items to think about and what I look for when I visit a home.

Remove trip hazards, rugs, extension cords, clutter, small furniture, pet bowls etc
Keep walkways clear, put frequently used items in accessible places.
Install handrails on stairs, entry ways both front of house, patio and garage.
Is there enough light for normal use and install night lights for extra security.
Add grab bars in the shower/tub, by the toilet.
Non slip mats, tape or coatings in the shower/tub.

My aim with this article is to reduce your risk of falling, so to this end I will finish the article with a quick list of items that should never be used or relied upon as a grab bar.

Towel bars, toilet tissue holders, towels on towel bars, shower doors, handheld shower glide bars, temporary soap/shampoo holders
And in its own category suction cup grab bars, they are cheap, they are convenient but when they un-suck you are typically relying on them to hold your weight.

I hope you found this article useful and remember Prevention is No Accident!

Bryan Connington is the owner of Safety for Seniors based in Boise, a National Association of Home Builders Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) and holds an Executive Certificate in Home Modification from the University of Southern California.









Other Articles You May Like

Ensuring Safety for Seniors: A Priority at Executive Home Care

As our loved ones age, ensuring their safety becomes a paramount concern. This is especially true for those who choose to live independently at home. At Executive Home Care, we understand the unique challenges seniors face and are dedicated to providing solutions that enhance safety and well-being.Understanding the RisksAging brings with it several risks, including falls, medical emergencies, and the challenges of managing chronic conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.Creating a Safe EnvironmentAt Executive Home Care, we believe in proactively creating a safe living environment for seniors. This involves conducting comprehensive home safety audits to identify potential hazards and recommend modifications. Simple changes like installing grab bars in the bathroom, improving lighting, and removing trip hazards can significantly reduce the risk of falls.Personalized Care PlansEach senior has unique needs. Our caregivers are trained to develop and follow personalized care plans that address the specific health and safety concerns of each client. This might include medication management, mobility assistance, and regular health monitoring.Technology and SafetyAdvancements in technology have introduced new ways to enhance senior safety. Medical alert systems, automated medication dispensers, and home monitoring devices provide an added layer of security, ensuring help is available at the touch of a button.Emergency PreparednessIn emergency situations, timely response is crucial. Our caregivers are trained in emergency response and are familiar with the specific needs and medical history of their clients, ensuring quick and effective action when needed.Companionship and Mental HealthSafety isnt just about physical well-being; mental health is equally important. Loneliness and isolation can have serious consequences for seniors. Our companion care services provide much-needed social interaction, helping to maintain a healthy and happy mind.Nutrition and ExerciseA balanced diet and regular exercise are vital for maintaining health and preventing accidents. Our caregivers assist with meal preparation and encourage physical activity appropriate to the seniors ability and health status.Continual Training and SupportOur caregivers receive ongoing training to stay updated on the best practices in senior safety and care. This commitment to excellence ensures they are equipped to handle a variety of situations, providing the best care possible.At Executive Home Care, the safety of our seniors is our top priority. By understanding the risks, personalizing care, leveraging technology, and focusing on overall well-being, we strive to provide a safe, comfortable, and independent lifestyle for our clients. If youre considering in-home care for a loved one, remember that their safety and happiness are paramount. Executive Home Care is here to support you every step of the way.

Spotlight: March 2024 Newsletter - Celebrating Our Caregiver of the Year Nomination

Greetings,In our last bi-monthly newsletter, I mentioned we had nominated one of our caregivers Jane, as the Caregiver of the Year for Visiting Angels nationwide. We were notified at the end of January, she was selected to move onto Round 2 of nominations! This round, we must submit video testimonials about Jane from the client, family members, office staff, and our owner Karen. By the time you read this, we will have submitted the video testimonials and will hear back by March 21st if Jane is a semi-finalist for this prestigious award. The winner of this years Caregiver of the Year award will be announced at the Visiting Angels 26th Annual Conference being held in June and will receive $5,000. There are many team members deserving of consideration for Caregiver of the Year, yet Janes exceptional qualities really stand out. Id like to share an excerpt from the written nominations highlighting Janes contribution.Jane has worked with our team for almost three years. She is dedicated to her work and committed to her clients. She is always on time and never calls out, no matter the weather conditions. The dignity of those in her care is a top priority for Jane while maintaining a positive attitude. Shes willing to go-with-the-flow in any circumstance. For example, when her client resists wearing oxygen and doesnt remember why they need to wear it, Jane knows how to navigate the situation with grace and patience. On the other hand, she holds her ground with difficult clients, and even though it may be uncomfortable, she handles it with respect and kindness.Nominating a caregiver of the year is not just a process, its an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the extraordinary dedication and compassion of someone whose role is to serve others. Being a part of this journey of recognition has been rewarding because it highlights the invaluable contributions of caregivers nationwide and the importance of acknowledging their efforts. Its been a reminder of the power of appreciation and the significance of recognizing individuals who demonstrate excellence in their work. Im pleased to be a part of a nationally known and locally owned company, like Visiting Angels, who understands the importance and joy of recognizing others. In the end, nominating a caregiver is about acknowledging the countless acts of kindness and the immeasurable impact caregivers have on the lives of others. Whether or not Jane wins nationwide, she is our Visiting Angels of Medford, MA Caregiver of the Year 2023, and that is something to celebrate! I look forward to giving you another update regarding the award in May. All for now,Abby

Safeguarding Seniors: Mitigating Fall Risks in the Home

Safeguarding Seniors: Mitigating Fall Risks in the Home At Senior Helpers, the safety and well-being of our seniors are of utmost importance, and fall-related injuries are a significant concern. However, many of these accidents can be prevented with simple precautions within the home. Fall prevention not only preserves physical well-being but also contributes to the overall quality of life. Seniors often face a higher risk of falling due to factors like reduced mobility, balance issues, and diminishing muscle strength. To mitigate these risks, it's crucial to create a safer environment within their homes. Here are some key steps to consider:  Clear Pathways: Cluttered spaces can lead to tripping hazards. Ensure that walkways are unobstructed, and remove loose rugs or use non-slip mats to secure them. Proper Lighting: Inadequate lighting can make it difficult for seniors to navigate their homes. Install bright, energy-efficient LED lights and nightlights to illuminate hallways and key areas. Bathroom Safety: Install grab bars in the bathroom and a non-slip mat in the shower or bath. Consider a raised toilet seat for added ease. Medication Management: Many seniors take multiple medications, some of which may cause dizziness. Keep a record of their medications, their side effects, and consult with a healthcare provider if necessary. Exercise and Balance Training: Regular physical activity can improve strength and balance, reducing the risk of falls. Encourage simple exercises or consider programs designed to enhance balance. Regular Check-ups: Schedule regular medical check-ups to monitor and manage health conditions that could affect mobility. Emergency Response Plan: Ensure that seniors have access to a phone, emergency numbers, and an alert system in case of a fall or other health emergencies.  Senior Helpers uses a proprietary technology assessment tool called LIFE Profile which has been proven to reduce the risk of hospitalization by keeping seniors safe in their home environment. With LIFE Profile, we take a comprehensive and in depth look at 144 safety risks in and around the home, and it creates a customized plan for how a seniors home can be made safer.  For more information on how we can help seniors stay safe and thrive in their homes, please visit seniorhelpers.com/ks/overland-park.   Editors Note: This article was submitted by Jeff Rigler. Jeff is the owner of Senior Helpers Overland Park and may be reached at 913-851-4800 or by email at jrigler@seniorhelpers.com.