When Nancy asked her mother how she got the bruises down her leg and along her arm, her mother hesitated, but then admitted to falling down the narrow staircase in her home. Nancy knew this wasn’t the first time her mother had fallen at home nor was it the first time Nancy had worried about her mother’s safety at home.
Living alone since her father passed away five years ago, her mom wants to remain in the home where she raised her children. But Nancy worries as the home has narrow stairs, small bathrooms, an old stove and likely other safety issues she is yet aware of.
A survey of emergency room doctors found bathrooms and bedrooms to be the most unsafe areas for seniors in their homes.
Where are in-home injuries most likely to occur for seniors?
- Bathrooms - 69%
- Bedrooms - 13%
- Kitchen - 9 %
- Stairs - 5%
What can Nancy do? She can begin by conducting a home safety assessment and look into a home health care service that can offer assistance and help reduce risks.
Ask yourself these questions when evaluating the safety of your parent’s home. Use the AARP checklist to conduct a full safety assessment.
- Are there grab bars in the bathroom?
- Are bathroom faucets easy to use?
- Can they easily get in and out of the shower?
- Are stove controls clearly marked and easy to use?
- Do the oven and fridge open easily?
- Are there handrails on both sides of the stairway?
- How about light switches at the top and bottom of stairs?
- Are the stair treads deep enough for a whole foot?
- Are outlets properly grounded to prevent shock?
- Is the telephone readily available for emergencies?
- Can you hear the doorbell ring throughout the house?
If you find safety concerns, point out potential problems and make a plan of how to fix the issue. For example, a higher toilet seat or handrails in the bathroom might help prevent falls or add handrails to both sides of the staircases.
Consider home care services
If the home has several issues that need addressed and your parent could benefit from regular care help, contact a home health care service. A home health care service such as Resthaven can help with daily activities such as cooking and cleaning along with medication checks and transportation to help keep your parent safe.
For more than 15 years, Resthaven Home Care has provided skilled nursing care, therapy services, personal support and more to those needing care in their homes. For a complimentary consultation to assess your loved one’s needs, contact Resthaven Home Care at 616-796-3800 or take the Resthaven online assessment here.