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8 Dangers Seniors Face in Their Homes & How to Avoid Them

 As people get older, their risk of getting injured at home increases greatly. One report from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention shows that once every 20 minutes, a senior in the United States experiences a fall. These injuries can range in severity from resulting in a minor scratch to requiring an emergency room visit. Don’t be too discouraged as there are several ways you can reduce your chances of a significant injury. An ounce of prevention can go a long way to staying safe.

 

  1. Long Stretches with No Safety Devices

 

Various tools are available to help seniors get around. Some of the basics include a walker or cane. However, additional devices can be installed around the house to help seniors get in and out of certain places. For example, it is common for houses to have a safety bar installed around the tub or shower. They can be instrumental in helping you retain your balance in the tub as the surface can get slippery after use. Extra handrails can also be very helpful.

 

  1. Various Household Structures

 

Many common items in the home can increase the risk of falling. Rugs can be particularly dangerous if they are not perfectly flat on the floor. Many houses are reliant on numerous electronics these days and there may be areas in your home with visible wires or cables. Consider using ties or grouping wires together to avoid an accident. Any other clutter should be picked up on a regular basis, so it may be advantageous to hire a cleaning service to come by occasionally if needed. Ultimately, all of the rooms in your house should be easy to navigate.

 

  1. Naturally Poor Vision

 

Even if something is not a major hazard, there is still a possibility of falling if a person’s eyesight is less than ideal. It’s good practice then for people to get eye exams once a year at a minimum. As people age, the frequency of these visits may increase. It is entirely possible that a person’s eyesight will continue to degrade over time. People who wear glasses knows that their current eyeglasses may require a completely different prescription one year from the next if vision continues to change. Additionally, seniors should avoid wearing tinted glasses while inside. Vision really should not be obstructed in any way.

 

  1. Side Effects of Medications

 

Most medications will come with side effects. Some of these may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision
  • Feeling off-balance
  • Dehydration

 

The risk of experiencing one of these effects is increased if several different medications are used in conjunction with another. It’s important to be well informed on what you are taking and the potential side effects and how they will affect your body.

In the event another medication needs to be prescribed, make it clear to doctors what you’re are already taking to minimize health risks. This allows the medical professional to weigh the pros and cons of each combination. In the event, the side effects get too severe, schedule a doctor’s appointment immediately to see if anything can be done to resolve the issues.

 

  1. Inadequate Lighting

 

Every room should be well-lit. When a house’s current lighting system is not enough, certain renovations can be made to improve an area’s visibility. Additionally, installing a few extra lamps or other auxiliary lighting systems can be a huge benefit. For houses with stairs, it is particularly important for the bottom and top of the staircase to be well-lit. Having a way to get sufficient light in a room when you need to wake up in the middle of the night is also recommended.

 

  1. Lack of Exercise

 

Many seniors report starting to feel off-balance as they age One way to maintain balance is to continue exercising well past retirement. Classes can be taken at a local gym, and many establishments have classes available specifically for seniors. Another option is watching instructional videos and exercising in the comfort of your own home. There are numerous light exercises that can be done, including tai chi and yoga. To make sure undergoing a new exercise regimen is right for you, you should always consult with your doctor first.

 

  1. Dehydration

 

Dehydration is a surprisingly common reason for why seniors fall. It is crucial to drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if it is not particularly hot out. As people age, our need for water increases. Seniors who take several different medications and those of us who are older than 85 years old are the most susceptible of experiencing dehydration. To promote adequate hydration, water should be consumed at every meal, and seniors should avoid drinking too much alcohol and coffee, which have been proven to cause dehydration.

 

  1. Poor Footwear

 

A good fall prevention plan involves the right type of footwear. Seniors should avoid wearing floppy slippers or high heels because there is a greater likelihood of falling while wearing these types of shoes. Certain shoes can fall off easily, temporarily throwing you off balance. Good, sturdy shoes should be worn at all times, even while at home. The ideal pair of shoes includes non-skid soles to avoid slipping on smooth or flat surfaces, such as tile or hardwood.

Falling as a senior can result in severe health issues, including fractures and traumatic brain injuries. If you are a senior who is looking to age in place in your own home, then you can start taking preventive measures now. Mobility aids like a Home Elevator or Stair Lift can also significantly reduce the chances of getting hurt at home. Ask about our range of mobility assistance products today!