In this video we are going to show you some no-cost or low-cost changes that will make your home safer.


Paula Berman Schenkel:

Did you know that 55% of all falls in elderly occur at home? How safe is your home? Are you or a loved one at risk for falling?

Paula Berman Schenkel:

Hi, my name is Paula Berman Schenkel and I’m the client care manager of Alternative Senior Care, a home care company serving central Minnesota for over 15 years. Welcome to the fourth video in our four part series of fall prevention. If you didn’t see the first three videos on fall prevention, I encourage you to go to YouTube and watch them. We talked about the causes of falls in the elderly and what to do to help prevent falls and the resulting consequences of injury, nursing home placement, or death. In this video, we are going to show you how to make your home safer by some no cost or low cost changes.

Paula Berman Schenkel:

First thing I want you to do is take a look at your floors and clean up any clutter from your pathways. Next, check for any loose carpeting edges, and please, please get rid of any throw rugs, especially those that are thick and not stuck to the floor. Do you have electrical cords running across walkways? Those have to go.

Paula Berman Schenkel:

Now, let’s check the lighting in the house. Is there an adequate lighting throughout the house? Check the basement stairs, the outside entries, the hallways and bathrooms for those middle of the night trips to the bathroom. If there is a need for more lights, there are inexpensive nightlights and motion activated lights that don’t need to be wired in. They can be hung almost anywhere and many are LED, so are very efficient on the batteries.

Paula Berman Schenkel:

Let’s take a look at any stairs in the house. This will include the entry stairs. Are there handrails or railings on the stairs? Look at the stairs and make sure there isn’t any loose carpeting or round edges to slide on. Check the lighting in the area too. It’s easy to install railings and better lighting if needed.

Paula Berman Schenkel:

The next place you should check is the kitchen. To prevent using a step stool to reach the high cupboards or bending way down to reach items way on the bottom, move things around in the kitchen. All regularly used items should be placed waist high. Moving on, let’s look at your bedroom. Is the bed the correct height? You can easily lower it by removing the legs or raise it by adding extenders to the freight. Do you have a light beside your bed or a nightlight? If possible, keep your phone by the bed for emergency use and to prevent rushing to answer the phone while half asleep. Check the walkways in the bedroom, rearranging the room may increase floor space and remove tripping hazards.

Paula Berman Schenkel:

Now for the bathroom, the most dangerous place in our house. I have some easy and not too expensive fixes for lessening your risk of falls in the bathroom. They are: Install grab bars beside the toilet and inside and outside of the shower or bathtub. Remove all rugs except by the shower and that one should be very thin and have good sticky backing. Don’t forget to have non-slip mat in the shower or the tub floor. Having a shower chair in the shower or tub is good in case you start to feel weak or dizzy. It gives you a place to sit down and if you get a handheld shower, you can sit down and wash your feet safely. Another item that helps in the bathroom is the toilet riser for your toilet. They are easily installed and they come with and without arms, which is less expensive than replacing the regular toilet with a higher toilet.

Paula Berman Schenkel:

For more information on fall prevention, you can go to our website, alternativeseniorcare.net and navigate to the family info center. There you will find all of the information and more about what you can do in your home to reduce you or your loved one’s risk of falls. Thanks for taking time to learn more about keeping yourself or a loved one safe from falls. Bye for now and keep safe.

 

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