(ARA) — Retirement is a great time to enjoy life — especially in your own home. But if you — or your parents — are starting to slow down, suffering from occasional imbalance or are having difficulty living safely in your home, it could limit your independence, and potentially cause you harm.
Falling is the leading cause of injury and death among people 65 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And if you look around your home, or your loved one’s home, you probably can find many tripping hazards, increasing the risk of a fall.
Here are some tips you can follow to help yourself or your loved one continue to live independently in their own home and age in place safely:
• Incorporate walk-in showers in your bathrooms, so you don’t have to climb over the edge of a tub. Premier Care in Bathing Inspire Walk-in Shower or Refresh Walk-in Shower have Delta brand shower heads, shower chairs in case you need to sit down, secure hand rails and leak-free construction.
Alternatively, Premier also has a broad range of walk-in baths, which are versatile enough for any member of the family to use, but provide the safety equipment needed to help keep older members protected from falls. Visit www.premier-bathrooms.com or call (800) 925-0865 and ask for more information about walk-in baths or showers.
• Install telephones in every room, and have a cell phone always charged and accessible. Communication is important, and having a phone easily accessible can determine how swiftly help arrives in an emergency like a fall.
• Switch under-counter shelves into pull-out drawers, so you or your loved one don’t have to get down on your hands and knees to find something at the rear of the cabinet. This not only helps prevent falls, but also prevents strains on the body from bending over.
• Install as much extra lighting as you can around the house. This includes nightlights and extra light switches at all door entrances so nobody ends up stumbling around in the dark.
• Create safe walking passages. If loose rugs are lying around, consider removing them. Check to see if any of the flooring in your house is slippery. You might want to consider installing carpet — not only to get rid of the slippery floor, but also to keep feet warmer as well. Also, review the layout of each room. Keep entrances clear of lamps or furniture so someone doesn’t accidently become bruised from bumping into them, or tripping and falling to the floor.
Aging in place isn’t overly difficult, and you can keep yourself or your loved one safe at home, and living in comfort with some of these tips.