One of the major concerns of dealing with a person who has Alzheimer’s disease is safety, and as the disease progresses, falls become a serious health hazard. I ran across this article the other day and was reminded of the importance of slip, trip and fall prevention. I’m sharing it in its entirety.
Safeguarding Seniors Against Falls at Home
By [http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Jeffrey_L._Taylor]Jeffrey L. Taylor
Have you ever had a fall at home? Are you afraid an older loved one may break a hip with a fall? Thousands of people experience this unpleasant reality daily and find themselves robbed of their independence. Injuries caused by falls at home are often painful and leave those affected with a fear of falling again, thus limiting their recovery. The good news is that the majority of falls at home are preventable. The following are some tips you can follow to make your home or the home of a loved one safer.
In the BATHROOM:
1) Have grab bars installed on the walls beside the toilet and inside the tub/shower. These days, it is not necessary to get the type of bars that have to be installed permanently with screws – there are those available that have large suction cups at both ends that adhere very well to the wall, and they are removable
You may also want to have floor-to-ceiling vertical rods (safety poles) available to provide extra support where it’s needed. These poles are easy to remove or relocate if necessary.
2) Use rubber mats with suctions cups on the underside both on the floor inside the tub or shower, and for when you step out of the water. Traction in these slippery areas is essential.
3) A combination safety seat/transfer bench used inside the tub or shower provides stability and comfort during bathing, and enables you to get in and out safely.
4) A hand-held showerhead on a flexible hose makes it easier to bathe, as well as to control the spray and keep the water inside the tub or shower.
5) A raised seat on the toilet or a special toilet seat with armrests enables the user to gain better leverage for standing and sitting, and provide aid in maintaining balance.
In Your BEDROOM:
1) When you are in bed, make sure you can reach a light switch, either for a bedside lamp, or a ceiling light.
2) Install remote-controlled switches with other lamps in the room (available from a radio/electronics store).
3) Always have a flashlight handy.
4) Keep a mobility aid (cane, walker) nearby and reachable, near the bed.
5) If you need to get up frequently at night, it may be practical to keep a bedside commode in your room.
In the KITCHEN:
1) If your kitchen has concrete, ceramic tile or other hard surface flooring, place carpeting over it to lessen the severity of injury should a fall occur.
2) Use footwear with good traction on the soles. Avoid going barefoot, or in stockinged feet.
3) Wipe up spills on the floor immediately.
4) Keep all items that are used every day within easy reach.
5) If something does drop or fall to the floor, use extra caution to pick it up. You can easily lose your balance when bending over to pick up something. It’s a good idea to utilize “reacher” devices in every room.
1) Install brighter lighting everywhere, particularly over stairs, in the kitchen and in the bathroom. Make sure there are light switches at both ends of the stairs and hallways. Use nightlights in hallways and in your bedroom and bathroom.
2) Get handrails installed on both sides of your staircase, extending the full length of the stairs.
3) Remove loose rugs that can trip you up; keep lighting wires, computer and other technology wires safely near walls.
4) Get rid of piles of “stuff” that you think you may want to read in the future, but never get around to: old newspapers, magazines, old pieces of junk mail. These are fire hazards, and trip-up hazards when left on the floor.
5) Move unnecessary furniture and other obstacles out of your way, so that there are clear, wide pathways in the house.
The best way for older citizens and those who care for them to remain accident-free is to take preventative precautions. CarenetLA provides non medical in-home care to those needing help at home. It is our hope that the information and services we provide will help our seniors stay independent and healthy for as long as possible. Our commitment to educating the public about caring for seniors has made CarenetLA a leader among care giving companies.