As professionals specializing in addressing nutrition for seniors in their homes, we have seen firsthand the impact that falls can have on the independence of older adults. Far too many falls occur in the home, often due to easily preventable safety risks.
To help you or your loved one stay safe and comfortable for the years to come, here are a few of the most overlooked fall hazards that are worth addressing in the home.
One of my favorite tips for making your or a loved one’s home safer is better lighting! This is a recommendation that can make a huge impact at a low cost.
Adequate lighting can help reduce the risk of falls, particularly in areas that are typically dimly lit, such as hallways and stairways. Automatic sensor lights and strip lighting are some of the most commonly recommended products to reduce navigating in the dark resulting in decreased falls.
Loose Cords and Wires
One of the most common things we can find in just about any home is loose cords and wires. And it’s easy to understand why!
Many of us can look around our own homes and see a variety of electrical appliances and devices we use every day that all require an outlet. This means that many older adults are living in homes where wires are laid over the carpet or have wires exposed. This creates a major fall risk and can be exacerbated when there isn’t adequate lighting throughout the home.
When it comes to minimizing the number of loose cords or wires around the home, it takes time to organize all of the cords and wires throughout the home, noting any cords left around aren’t even in use. Once you’ve sorted out each cord then it’s time to implement a cord management system.
Clutter Throughout The Home
Creating a proper system to store household items can often be a challenging aspect of safely aging at home. It’s not uncommon for older adults to have difficulty reaching higher-up cabinets, lower cabinets, or general storage areas that require a tall ladder or stool. This often causes older adults to either:
- unsafely access hard-to-reach areas of the home, creating a fall hazard
- leave household items on the ground, also creating a fall hazard
Clutter throughout the home is a major concern, especially for anyone who uses a walker, cane or mobility device to navigate the home. It’s important to recognize clutter in the home which can include holiday decorations, toys, games, trash, or even clothes being left on the ground.
And if additional storage space is needed we recommend implementing some easy-to-use storage shelves and bins to minimize the amount of clutter around the home. Products such as Royexe’s Cube Storage Bins can be a perfect solution.
Lastly, it’s not uncommon to see many older adults experience a fall at home due to obstructing furniture. It’s important to make sure that furniture in every room of the home is positioned to give ample space and open room for safe mobility. This is especially important for anyone who uses an assistive device for mobility support.
Always be sure to space out furniture to avoid any tripping over furniture legs or running into sharp corners. If you’re unsure if the furniture in your or a loved one’s home is properly positioned, we recommend you consult an occupational therapist who can better assist you in appropriately placing furniture and addressing other fall hazards in the home.
Fall Hazards Can Be Preventable
It can be encouraging for many people to realize that falls at home can be minimized or even prevented in some situations. And if you are concerned about any sort of safety risk within the home, for yourself or a loved one there are a variety of home modifications that can be implemented to help. If you’d like you can always get in touch with our Client Care Team to get your questions answered and learn more about common hazards found within the home.
Currently falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for seniors with nearly 70% of falls happening within the home. Chefs for Seniors takes a holistic approach by partnering with others that are looking to achieve the same goal which is keeping people at home safer and more comfortable. Working with Jukebox Health gives a client the opportunity to work with a licensed Occupational Therapist to pin-point fall risks within the home and find solutions specifically tailored to their needs, budget and style.
For a complimentary home safety visit, you can visit Jukebox Health or call (212)-321- 5113.