Aging in place is a growing trend in America. With Americans ages 65 and older expected to double to 98 million by 2060 that means more grandparents will be living in their single family, apartments, or townhomes are long as they are able. While the appeal to age in place is appealing- staying within your current community, the comforts of your home, and the cost savings- it can also be a cause for concern.
Falls in adults ages 65 and older are the leading cause of head injuries and broken hips. On top of that, falling once doubles the risk of falling again. It is extremely important to ensure your grandparents are able to live their highest quality of life by implementing proper fall prevention tactics within their homes. These can be simple, less expensive than you think, and oftentimes very discrete.
Perform a Home Audit
In order to know where to implement fall prevention products or change, you need to know where the highest risk slip and fall zones are. Performing a home audit is a simple way to figure this out. Consider an assisted living facility and work to emulate what those types of housing developments offer. This will help you understand the locations that need to be improved on and to allow your grandparent to live independently as long as possible by preventing slip and fall accidents.
Top Slip and Fall Offenders in the Home
While any area of the home, inside or out, can cause a slip and fall some areas are more likely than others. We are sharing the top locations of slip and fall accidents and how you can help your grandparent ensure they are safer.
Bathrooms are the number one offender for slip and fall accidents in the home. It is no surprise that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that around 235,000 people ages 15+ visit the emergency room each year because of bathroom-related injuries.
Adding several products to the bathroom can greatly decrease the likelihood of slip and fall accidents. Consider these options:
● Anti-slip tape is an excellent way to improve the safety of the bathroom. Using a vinyl anti-slip tape that can be purchased in white, tan, or even a discrete clear is an inexpensive way to provide additional traction.
● With water being inevitable, also installing a grab bar and non-slip bath mat or shower adhesive is a smart idea.
● If the bathroom is used at nighttime, consider illumination choices. From a nightlight or photoluminescent egress markers, these can easily be incorporated into the bathroom.
The kitchen is not far behind the bathrooms when it comes to slip and fall accidents. Even if your grandparent doesn’t often cook, it can still pose risks with slippery surfaces creating the ideal atmosphere for a slip and fall accident.
Several easy ways to prevent kitchen slip and fall accidents include:
● Using NFSI-certified cleaning products allows for flooring to remain high traction while cutting through grease and oils.
● Add a step-stool to prevent slipping while reaching for high cabinets
● Add non-slip treads around sinks and refrigerators
● Keep large tables and chairs out of the walkway path
If keeping the kitchen clean is a daunting task for your grandparent, consider the addition of a housekeeper. Even someone coming just once a week to tidy up this room can make a big difference!
Bedrooms and living rooms throughout the home can also be culprits to slip and fall accidents. Especially depending on the flooring- tile for example- is a lot more slippery, especially if outside elements are brought in. You will want to make sure clutter is out of the walkways and cords are kept tidy. Make sure the items that are commonly used (remotes, phones, keys) are easy to reach and ensure a non-slip tape is applied to any areas with elevation change.
STAIRS & RAMPS (INDOOR AND OUTDOOR)
If the home includes stairs you will want to pay special attention. Make sure handrails are in good working order and if the stairs are used at night they need to be clearly illuminated. An easy fix for illumination can be peel and stick photoluminescent markers.
A clear anti-slip tape is a popular option for stairs. Many anti-slip tapes can adhere to a variety of materials such as wood, tile, and even carpet. Make sure you look at the label and choose a product that works for the environment you intend to use (inside or outside).
Start Creating a Safer Home
A slip and fall accident can instantly change a senior citizen's way of life. Help ensure your grandparents don’t have to limit their activities and social engagements because of a preventable accident. By performing a home audit and making simple updates alongside lifestyle adjustments, your grandparents can age in place more comfortable and give you peace of mind.
Jessup Manufacturing is a leader in non-slip tapes, treads, and glow-in-the-dark products. Shop our entire selection online today.