June is National Safety Month – and the best place to start is right at home. It’s a time to assess safety risks in the home and learn how you can prevent accidents and injuries from occurring in the adults you love and help care for.
Falls and Injuries
In adults ages 65 and older, 1 in 3 falls each year. According to the CDC, once an older adult falls, the chances double that they will fall again. One in five of these falls results in a serious injury such as a head injury or broken bones. Reduce the risk of falling in your home by following these tips:
- Talk with your doctor about medications and overall health to determine your risk of falling
- Eliminate items from the home that you may be likely to trip over
- Determine if a ramp is needed in place of stairs in the home
- Add rails to both sides of any ramp or stairway
- Add grab bars to the inside and outside of shower and tub area in the bathroom
- Ensure there is plenty of bright lighting in the home; add more lighting or brighter bulbs as needed
Choking and Suffocation
Choking on food or other objects is a primary cause of suffocation. Choking is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in those 87 and older. Having dentures or difficulty swallowing can increase choking in the elderly.
Foods with minimal choking risk include:
- Ground meat
Foods to avoid if choking is a concern:
- Steak and other large pieces of meat
- Hard candy
- White bread
- Hot dogs
- Cake and milk
- Dry crackers
- Chicken with bones
Preventing loved ones from ingesting toxic substances in the home isn’t just child’s play. Older adults can also be at risk of poison. Prescription drug overdose is the leading cause of deaths by poison. Here are some ways to prevent poisoning in your elderly loved ones:
- Get the home tested for radon gas exposure
- Make sure battery-operated or battery backup carbon monoxide detectors are installed; check or replace batteries with each spring and fall time change
- Administer medications or use pill boxes so medications are not taken more too often
With a few simple steps, you can help prevent accidents in the home. Our Home Safety Assessment video will help show you the first steps to seeing and resolving hidden hazards in your home so you can keep your elderly loved ones safe and prevent costly injuries.
Assisting Hands Home Care serving Columbus, OH will discuss home safety with clients and their families. Caregivers can work to create a safety plan with their client that outlines home safety risks and prevention tips. This allows everyone to be proactive in creating a safer home environment.
If you or your loved one are wanting to stay safely at home but need a little extra help, give us a call today. We typically can place a caregiver in your home within 24 hours. We’re here for your peace of mind.
Sources: ClearCare; Centers for Disease Control