When New Carpet Is Installed How Does Furniture Get Moved Preventing Falls Among Elderly Parents

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Preventing Falls Among Elderly Parents

Falls are a leading cause of death, injury and hospitalization in the elderly population. In fact, last year alone, more than 1.6 million seniors were treated in emergency rooms for injuries caused by falls. Several factors contribute to the fact that seniors fall much more often than younger people:

Lack of physical activity. Irregular exercise results in poor muscle tone, bone loss, loss of balance and reduced flexibility.

Impaired vision. This includes age-related eye diseases as well as not wearing glasses that have been prescribed.

Medicines. Sedatives, antidepressants, and antipsychotics, plus the use of multiple medications, all contribute to an increased risk of falling.

Diseases. Medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and arthritis cause limb weakness, poor grip strength, balance disorders, and cognitive impairment.

Surgery. Hip replacements and other surgeries leave an older person frail, in pain and discomfort, and less mobile than before the surgery.

Danger to the environment. One-third of all falls in the elderly population involve hazards at home. Factors include: poor lighting, loose carpets and lack of safety equipment.

However, falls are not an inevitable part of aging. Many falls can be prevented by increasing home safety and using products that help keep seniors more stable and less likely to fall.

Making the home safer

There are several things caregivers can do to make home safer for their elderly mom or dad.

· Install safety barriers, handrails or grab bars in the shower or tub.

· Place non-stick tape on the bathtub floor.

· Use a stool pad to make getting on and off the toilet easier.

· Install at least one stair railing that extends beyond the first and last step.

· Make sure the stairs are sturdy with a strong handrail.

· Make sure the stairs are well lit. Consider making the lighting in your home brighter to improve vision.

· Make sure carpets, including those on stairs, are attached to the floor.

· Remove loose carpets.

· Avoid clutter. Remove all unnecessary furniture. Any remaining furniture should be stable and free of sharp corners to minimize the consequences of a fall.

· Reposition furniture so your grandparent has something to hold on to as they move around the house.

· Electric cables must not run along the floor. Install extra basic plugs so long cables are not necessary.

· Ask parents to wear non-slip shoes or slippers rather than wearing stockings.

· Make sure all rooms have adequate lighting. Consider motion-sensitive lights that turn on when a person enters a room. Use night lighting in every room.

· Store frequently used items in easily accessible cupboards.

· Use a grasping tool to reach inaccessible objects rather than a chair or ladder.

· Keep the water heater thermostat set at 120 degrees F or lower to avoid scalding and burns.

· Wipe up spilled material and remove broken glass immediately.

For more information on caring for your aging mom or dad, please visit agingcare.com.

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