When you grow old, many body changes can affect your quality of life. Older people have poor balance because of muscle strength loss. They also lose joint flexibility and clear vision. As a result, they are at a higher risk for falls.
Precautions such as installing a handicap bathtub or a wheelchair lift here in Utah is necessary to prevent such accidents. Falls are the single most significant cause of death and injuries in older Americans. Approximately three million older individuals are seen and treated in emergency rooms for falls each year in the United States.
Moreover, at least 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized due to falls, usually because of hip fractures and head injuries. How do you provide a safe environment for the elderly at home?
Handrails And Grab Bars
Handrails and grab bars for the elderly are devices designed to help them move around. These are important in every home.
Installing handrails and grab bars can help prevent accidents such as falls, tripping, or slipping. You can install these bars in accident-prone areas in the house, such as the toilet, bathroom, and kitchen.
Wheelchair lifts are designed for people who are immobile or has difficulty moving around. Also dubbed as a vertical platform lift or a platform lift, it helps raise a wheelchair and the occupant to overcome a step or a barrier.
Lifts help seniors go up a bus, a step, or a vehicle, without going out of the wheelchair. This reduces the risk of falling. It’s important to make sure the patient is adequately restrained to prevent accidents.
The bathroom poses one of the biggest dangers to senior safety. It is where seniors use several times a day. Plus, it is a place where dangerous elements can further aggravate the situation, such as small spaces, the presence of water, and slippery floors.
To reduce the risk of accidents, make sure to convert the tub into a handicap tub or a walk-in tub. The tub has a door to make it possible for people with limited mobility to go in and out, without the risk of slipping or falling.
Other Safety Measures
Aside from these devices and equipment, maintaining a safe environment needs a lot of safety measures. For instance, the room or house should be properly lighted and well-ventilated. At night, make sure to leave the light on so they can go around the house or go to the bathroom at night.
In the bathroom, make sure to clearly mark faucets as hot or cold, and place non-skid surfaces in the bottom of the tub. Install doorknobs that can be opened at both sides. Lastly, make sure your older adult relative has access with a medical alert system, to be notified immediately if something is wrong.
When he or she uses the alert system, it will notify the immediate family member and the medical emergency services.
Ensuring the safety of older adults at home is important to give them a high quality of life and an accident-free living.