With the holiday season finally here, you’ll probably have quite a few visitors at your home over the coming months. Some of these guests may also be elderly and struggle with mobility issues, which increases the risk of a slip and fall incident. In order to protect those you care about and stop a potentially serious injury from occurring, the National Institute on Aging offers the following fall-proof home tips.
If you plan on having friends and family stay over during the holidays, make sure bathrooms are up to par. Bathrooms are particularly dangerous for senior guests, but installing non-slip pads and flooring can greatly reduce the risk of a fall. You can also install grab bars in strategic places, such as around the toilet or within the shower for ease when getting in and out. Because visibility in low light is something many elderly people struggle with, consider leaving a light on in the bathroom or using a night light.
Clutter is another problem in many homes, especially when it shows up within hallways and other heavily-trafficked areas. When preparing for guests, remove things like papers, clothing, books, and other items that can get in the way while walking. If you have a staircase in your home, make sure the railing is properly secured. A loose or otherwise faulty railing may be deadly if a fall on the stairs occurs.
When guests are staying for a few days or more, make sure they can access what they need during their stays. Items should be stored no higher than eye level whenever possible so your loved ones can easily access them. Climbing or reaching for items on high shelves is a recipe for disaster if a person loses his or her balance. Be sure that cords or wires are nicely tucked away and secure area rugs to the floor to prevent slippage.