July 12, 2021 3:50:41 pm
Elderly people are more susceptible to falls and accidents, given their progressive deterioration of bones and muscle control. Having an elderly person at home means making it accident-proof, just like how you would do it for a baby.
Slips and falls can be more dangerous for an elderly person — leading to hip fractures, cuts, and even catastrophic head and brain traumas — than for middle-aged people. Which is why it is important to have certain preventive measures in place.
If you have an old person living with you, Punita Khatter, the co-founder and managing director of SenOcare — a company providing 24-hour personalised eldercare services in India — suggests making the following basic improvements to prevent falls and slips at home.
* No loose carpets or rugs.
* Repair frayed carpet, tape down loose carpet edges to the floor.
* Keep spaces as open as possible, by removing clutters, loose wires.
* Make sure all hallways, stairs, and paths are well lit and clear of objects such as books or shoes.
* Use rails and banisters when going up and down the stairs. Never place scatter rugs at the bottom or top of stairs.
* In case of stairs in the house, put in a light switch at the top and bottom of the stairs. You can get light switches that glow.
* Wear non-slip footwear, such as slippers with rubber/non-slip bottoms or flat, thin-soled shoes that fit well.
* Recommend motion-detecting lights in the bathroom and other rooms as well.
– Place a lamp close to the bed where it’s easy to reach.
– The phone should be close to the bed.
– The bed should not be too high.
– Bed rails are crucial to avoid bed fall. You should always select sturdy bed rails and ensure they are installed as securely as possible. They can even help them get up from the bed.
– Night-light; so the elderly person can see when they get up.
* The floor should not be slippery at any time of day or night.
* Put a non-slip rubber mat or self-stick strips on the floor.
* Have grab bars near the bath and WC.
* Based on the size of a bathroom place a bathing chair, as many a time elders lose balance while bathing.
* Install hand-held shower head.
– Keep things you use often on the lower shelves (at the waist level).
– Avoid stacking groceries and food items in high cabinets.
– Always use a step stool, get one with a bar to hold on to. Never use a chair as a step stool.
Stepping out of the house
* Ensure they are not wearing loose, flowing clothes.
* Make them wear comfortable shoes.
* Give them walking sticks if advised by the doctor.
* Have someone accompany the elder.
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