Millions of people over the age of 65 fall in their homes. Many older adults, our Lori's Hands clients included, want to age in their homes. Accidents happen and falls are, unfortunately, a part of aging for many people. However, there are many ways to prevent falls. As part of my summer internship with Lori's Hands, I attended an Easter Seals Disability Services workshop on Fall Prevention for Older Adults at their New Castle location. Guest speaker Adam Samuel from Avenue Medical spoke on “Accessibility in the Home: Simple Solutions to Complex Issues”. Avenue Medical provides assistive technology and accessible home modifications for older adults with disabilities. These modifications provide a safe and functional home environment so people can remain in their homes.
At Lori’s Hands, we want to provide a safe and accessible environment for our clients. I learned some tips at the Easter Seals workshop that we can all use when working with our clients. To reduce the chance of falls in our clients' homes, we can:
-Improve lighting. Brighter lighting helps a person see better and can prevent falls. Place lamps near clients' beds and open curtains to let in sunlight.
-Keep floors and stairs free from clutter.
-Make sure rugs and mats are skid proof or secured with carpet tape.
-Pick up or move items that may cause an accidental fall.
-Roll up hoses and pick up tools in the yard.
-Make sure all handrails are firmly attached.
-Make sure entrances/exits are accessible to walk through.
-Move hard-to-reach items to lower levels in cabinets and closets.
Next time you're out helping a client organize, clean or put away groceries, think about how you can do more than help with a chore -- think about how you can help prevent a fall.
Written by: Alyssa Benjamin