According to Statistics Canada, the facts are alarming:
- Falls are the leading cause of injury among older Canadians.
- 20-30% of seniors experience one or more falls each year.
- Falls are the cause of 85% of seniors' injury-related hospitalizations.
- Falls are the cause of 95% of all hip-fractures.
- 50% of all falls causing hospitalization happen at home.
It’s a shocking reality, but it’s clear that falling can be detrimental to the well-being of your loved one. Here’s how you can avoid experiencing this tragedy in your family.
Salt Sidewalks, Driveways, and Walkways
Winter is the most dangerous of all the seasons for seniors falling. Once a heavy snowfall hits and the temperatures drop below zero, slipping on the ice can claim the health and well-being of many seniors.
Help your loved one conquer the season by helping them shovel and salt their sidewalks, driveways, and walkways.
Don’t have any salt? Kitty litter is a great alternative to use—just sprinkle some on icy patches and you won’t have to worry.
Find the Right Shoes
You can’t salt everywhere your senior loved one is going to go this winter. To ensure their safety, take them to buy non-slip shoes with a gripping tread to keep them standing on their feet.
Maintain a Clean House
We’ve all been there—we’ve unsuspectingly tripped over something in our homes because it was left on the ground. Prevent falls by helping your loved one clear the clutter off their floor and encourage them to maintain a tidy house.
Avoid Use of Stairs
Stairs can be a falling hazard no matter the season. To reduce the number of times your loved one must use the stairs in their home, move all their essentials to the main floor.
Better yet, if your loved one lives on their own in a multi-story home, it may be time to consider moving to a residence with a single story. They won’t have to give up their independence, but their home will be more aptly design to prevent falls.
Visit the Optometrist for Regular Eye Checkups
Keeping up to date with regular eye exams means your loved one will be able to see any and all obstacles they might encounter. If their vision isn’t very good, neglecting to check their eyes can leave your loved one at serious risk of tripping over common obstacles—something as simple as a crack in the sidewalk could do it.
Let There Be Light
Dimly lit areas may impair the vision of your senior loved one. This may cause them to trip over carpets, furniture, or any other obstacle they may encounter in their home. Check their light fixtures and replace any light bulbs that have burned out. A well-lit home is a safe home.
Equip Your Loved One’s Shower
Out of all the rooms in your house, who would’ve guessed that the bathroom could be the most dangerous place for seniors?
Handrails are an important feature to include in your senior loved one’s bathroom. This allows them to pull themselves up and out of the shower, and it gives them something to grab onto if they do begin to slip. Handrails should be a consideration for all areas of your senior’s home where they must brace themselves, not just in the shower.
No-slip shower mats are also essential to maintain a non-slippery surface for your loved one to stand on. If your elderly loved one would prefer to sit in the shower, there are a range of shower chairs available to make them more comfortable and prevent falls.
You can even purchase custom or portable showers for your loved ones if extra care is required.