Protecting your aging parents at home is the key to helping them have a good quality of life. According to an AARP study, 90% of adults over age 65 want to stay in their homes as they age. A new study by ConsumerAffairs identifies a number of steps caregivers and family members can take to protect their aging parents at home.
The biggest issue is seniors are susceptible to falling due to a combination of health problems, including worsening eyesight and mobility. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mentions that more than one out of four older people (age 65 and older) falls each year and one fall doubles the chance of falling again. And many seniors who fall don’t even report the fall.
What Poses the Most Risk of Falling for a Senior at Home
The ConsumerAffairs research team found that data showed:
- Floor and flooring materials accounted for over 30% of injuries.
- Beds accounted for almost 13% of injuries.
- Steps cause 10% of injuries.
Injuries Caused to Seniors By Falling in a Home
A broken bone is the most common injury. There can also be internal organ damage, cuts/gashes, bruising, and scrapes. All of those injuries account for about 80% of reported injuries. Injuries to the head happen account for more than 25% of falling injuries.
What Caregivers Can Do to Help
Protecting your aging parents at home involves some updates to the house. The ConsumerAffairs team recommends:
- Removing or rearranging some furniture to make clear walking paths.
- Installing slip-resistant rugs, runners, and mats.
- Using nightlights in all areas of the house and improving all lighting to make it easier to see.
- Putting items that are used frequently in easy-to-reach areas.
- Installing grab bars in showers and tubs or installing either a walk-in tub or walk-in shower.
Other recommendations for preventing injuries at home can be found here.
Aging in place for a senior is cost-effective and it gives them a positive quality of life as they get to continue to live in the comfort of their home in their own community. The key to protecting your aging parents at home is to make sure their home is as safe as possible for them.