home safety checklist to prevent elderly falls

As older adults continue to age, their families struggle with the wisest way to help them and accommodate their needs. After all, nearly 9 in 10 Americans (88%) between 50 and 80 years choose to remain in their homes as they grow older. 

While you, as an aging parent or older relative, cannot live independently forever, there are many small changes you can make to continue living comfortably and safely. In this blog, we bring you a home safety checklist to prevent elderly falls and even show you the ropes of how to play ‘Game of Falls’ so aging individuals can stay alert in situations where it’s easy to stumble and fall.

 

Good lighting in the hallway

Good lighting in the hallway - home safety checklist to prevent elderly falls

  • If you want to know how to prevent elderly from falling, proper lighting throughout your home should be an imperative aspect of your home safety checklist to prevent elderly falls, but don’t try changing light bulbs on your own.
  • Adequate lighting is crucial in all areas of the home, but passageways are especially important to prevent elderly falls. Good lighting can increase visibility and reduce the chances of you or your loved ones succumbing to external falls.
  • Seek help from family, friends, or neighbors when required and consider using LED light bulbs. These types of bulbs have a longer lifespan, so it saves you money in the long run and reduces the need for frequent bulb replacement.
  • To increase the safety for elderly living alone, avoid using furniture or ladders to change light bulbs in areas that are difficult to reach.

 

Regularly examine the front door

Regularly examine the front door - home safety checklist to prevent elderly falls

Watch the front door 

When checking out your home safety checklist to prevent elderly falls, inspect the steps leading to the entrance of your home. Ensure that they are stable and not damaged, and address any issues such as cracks or unevenness without wasting time.

Lighting around the front door 

In addition to making the home accessible for the elderly, it’s important to prioritize prevention falls in the elderly. To address this, one element in your elderly fall prevention checklist should include checking the lighting around the front door and ensure it is sufficient so you can easily navigate to it. Consider incorporating motion sensor lights that will help reduce the risk of falls. Proper lighting around the front door can also make it easier for the elderly to navigate around the home, making it safer and more comfortable for them.

Add a handrail or grab bar

Regularly examine the front door - home safety checklist to prevent elderly falls
Consider installing a grab bar near the front door to provide extra support and balance when entering or exiting the home. Having a grab bar on your home safety checklist to prevent elderly falls proves particularly useful when carrying items or if the steps are slippery.

 

Keep flooring smooth and level 

  • Choose flooring surfaces that are soft and even such as cork, rubber, and linoleum as part of your elderly fall prevention checklist. These materials help in the safety for elderly living alone as it is gentler on joints and won’t pose a tripping hazard which could be the case with a high pile or overly padded carpets. 
  • To prevent elderly falls, it’s important to keep the flooring level and use contrasting materials, texture, or color to highlight changes in level. Avoid using strong patterns or shiny surfaces that could affect depth perception and increase tripping hazards.

 

Be mindful of the kitchen

Be mindful of the kitchen to prevent a fall

  • Your home safety checklist to prevent falls should include a seating area in the kitchen so that you don’t have to stand for extended periods which can be tiring as one grows old.
  • Choose a kitchen island on wheels that can be moved around easily, to create space for walkers or wheelchairs.
  • Don’t install cabinetry above the stove as it can be unsafe for leaning over a hot surface, especially for those with balance issues.
  • Instead of lower cabinets, install drawers underneath the countertop so they can be easily accessed.

 

When in the bathroom

prevent fall in bathroom

An adjustable showerhead

To help with fall prevention in the elderly, opt for a showerhead that can be adjusted in height and that comes with a handheld wand to enhance your ability to bathe independently. This feature is a must on your home safety checklist to prevent falls, as it preserves the self-respect and emotional well-being of the elderly knowing that they can bathe themselves.

When installing a new shower

If you are building a new shower, think about having design elements like a no-threshold or walk-in entry, and a built-in seat to improve safety and accessibility. 

If you are renovating an existing shower, use contrasting tiles for the base and walls to help differentiate between the floor and the wall which helps reduce safety hazards in the home for the elderly.

If your bathroom features a combination bathtub and shower, choosing a shower curtain instead of sliding doors can help in prevention falls in the elderly and make the home more accessible.

Learn how to Play the Game of Falls

It’s crucial to stay alert to avoid mishaps and prevent elderly falls. Your home safety checklist to prevent elderly falls can benefit from Game of Falls, an interactive game that unfolds in the form of 50 fun exercises teaching you to avoid accidents. The game reviews potentially accident-prone areas around your house. 

Depending on the choice you make, you will be able to figure out how to prevent falls in older adults. 

As you continuously face such scenarios and understand the safety hazards in the home for the elderly, you automatically learn how to recognize and avoid falls and steer clear of accidents. If you want to know how to fall proof a home for elderly, this exercise that unfolds through a game should be in your home safety checklist for seniors.

How to Create an account

  • Log in with Facebook or sign up using your Google account.
  • Add in your ‘Username’, ‘Email’, ‘Password’, and ‘Confirm Password’. 
  • If you do have a Facility Cod, no payment is required to play the game.
  • If you don’t have a Facility Code, you can enjoy a discount when playing the game!

Play the game 

To know how to fall proof a home for elderly, here is how you play the game: 

The game will review potentially accident-prone areas around your house. Four presenters introduce you to the scenarios that can lead to serious falls and injuries. The main presenter gives you a glimpse of the scenario and Sam (Presenter 2) explains it to you in detail. 

Eg: Part 1: Recognizing Hazards. Sally (Presenter 3) and Cynthia (Presenter 4) both offer you a choice. Click on the one you think is correct and select ‘okay’. If you choose the correct option, you move to the next exercise. If you choose the incorrect option, you have to practice and play the same exercise again. Doing so helps you stay alert in accident-prone areas at home and is an excellent addition to the aging in place safe at home checklist. You can also choose to go back, skip, or repeat the exercise.

Prevention falls in the elderly: How does Game of Falls Benefit?

After regular practice, you naturally get a hang of what to do and what to avoid which can help with fall prevention in elderly. Slowly, as you get the answers right, you will instantly know the right choice to make to minimize your risk of falling, and before you know it, regular visits to the nursing home will possibly be diminished. 

 

For many older adults, their home is not only a place to live; it is a sanctuary where they cherish many memories. It is a place filled with sentimental value. We are confident that adding these tips and tricks to your home safety checklist to prevent falls can support aging in place easily and make your house safer and more functional.

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