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Household Hazards That Can Injure Seniors

By Jeff Hill, 9:00 am on November 23, 2015

While we may consider our homes to be safe places, they can actually harbor many dangers for seniors who have decreased mobility and weak muscles, which can lead to injuries if the hazards aren’t attended to. Phoenix at-home care experts recommend watching for these hazards in your elderly loved one’s home to help keep him or her safe.

Bathtubs 

Bathtubs can be hazardous for the elderly because their bottoms are often slippery, especially when wet. To help prevent falls in the bathtub, place a slip-resistant mat on the tub’s bottom. It’s also a good idea to place another mat on the bathroom floor so your loved one does not fall when stepping outside the tub. Installing grab bars in the tub can also help prevent injuries due to falls. 

Stairs

To help prevent your loved one from falling down the stairs, install hand railings he or she can hold onto. Never leave obstacles such as clothes, books, or papers on the stairs, as they are potential trip hazards. If your loved one is no longer able to climb the stairs, a seated chair lift can provide a way for him or her to get up and down the stairs safely.

Throw Rugs 

It’s best to pick up all throw rugs in your loved one’s home, especially those in high traffic areas. Alternatively, you can use double-sided tape to fasten throw rugs securely to the floor. Putting throw rugs in areas your loved one doesn’t use often is another good way to prevent him or her from tripping over them. 

Electrical Cords 

Keep electrical cords out of walkways by tucking them behind furniture. If you need to, rearrange the furniture to accomplish this. Strategically arrange appliances so the use of extension cords isn’t necessary, or you can hire an electrician to install more electrical outlets in your loved one’s home. 

Low Toilet Seats

As we age, our legs tend to weaken and atrophy. Thus, when a senior tries to get up from a low toilet seat, his or her legs may give out, leading to a fall. Installing a grab bar near the toilet can give your loved one something to hold on to as he or she rises from the toilet. Toilet booster seats can also help prevent falls since your loved one won’t need to squat down as far to use the bathroom. 

A few simple adjustments to your loved one’s home can make a huge difference in fall prevention. If you are concerned about his or her safety while living alone at home, consider a part-time or full-time caregiver from Home Care Assistance. For instance, if your loved one needs post-stroke care in Phoenix, our caregivers can assist with mobility and a variety of daily tasks during his or her recovery. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 602.388.1085 to schedule a complimentary consultation.