Falls among seniors can have dire effects on their health in the long term. According to the CDC, an elderly American falls every second, which is the highest cause of injuries and deaths among senior citizens. Falling is not limited in scope. While it can happen anywhere, most falls occur at home. Further research indicates that among these falls, 30 percent occur in the bedroom.
Therefore, it is paramount to ensure that the elderly are safe while in the bedroom. There are many ways of preventing falls in the bedroom for seniors. This article will look at bedroom safety for seniors, fall prevention, and some of the safety rules you need to adhere to for the safety of the elderly.
Bedroom Safety for the Elderly: Statistics
A Cornell physician who trains other practitioners lays out the following locations as the most prone for elders to fall.
- 60 percent of falls are likely to happen at home.
- 30 percent of senior falls happen outside the home, mostly within the neighborhood.
- 10 percent of the falls will happen at a health care center.
On the other hand, the National Health Interview Survey indicated the following breakdown of rooms where falls are likely to happen.
- 31 percent of falls are likely to happen in the living room.
- 30 percent of falls will happen in the bedroom.
- 19 percent in the kitchens.
- 13 percent in the bathrooms.
- 10 percent in the hallway.
The survey also checked the types of falls that may occur to seniors. The totals are above 100% because the surveyed individuals could choose multiple options.
- 43 percent fell not from a height/ground level.
- 14 percent of falls were from stairs.
- 11 percent of falls were from sidewalks or curbs.
- 9 percent were from a piece of furniture.
- 4 percent of the falls involved the shower, bath, or toilet.
Common Bedroom Safety Problems Encountered by Seniors
The elderly are more likely to trip and sustain injuries detrimental to their health. The injuries are usually difficult to heal, which makes the lives of the elderly much more difficult. Falls can also be attributed to low balance levels, poor eyesight, and limited mobility. Many safety hazards in the bedroom can result in falls. Here are a few you might need to address.
This is a top cause for trips among the elderly. It will be best to sort out the clutter and find a suitable place for the items. The elderly will need help managing their daily tasks and decluttering the bedroom. The level of assistance required may also vary from one senior to another. Therefore, constantly check the rooms and declutter to prevent trips and falls.
Consider the lighting of the room where they sleep. It should not be very dark or bright. Darkness will cause the seniors to trip over objects, while the glare of too much light will inhibit their vision. If the room is too dark, you can add lights or wall lighting.
The shoes that the elderly wear will significantly affect their stability and balance. You should ensure they do not wear shoes that slip on slick areas or when they get wet.
Cords that run through the room may result in trips and falls of the elderly. Therefore, you should ensure that no cord runs loose in the bedroom. You can arrange the electronics and lamps differently to ensure the cords are out of the way.
You should ensure bedroom furniture is placed so that it will not result in slips. Consider chairs that are stable and with armrests. Also, the bed should have a desirable height that is not too high or low. Bed rails will prevent falls when the seniors are asleep.
Carpet and Rugs
Carpets and rugs that do not have anti-sleep guards may fly out under your elderly person’s feet and cause a fall that could be potentially dangerous. Bunching up carpets may also lead to falls. Loose and bunched-up carpets are hazardous, especially if the senior uses a cane as a mobility aid.
Bedroom Fall Prevention: Safety Rules in the Bedroom for Seniors
Fall prevention is essential for your seniors in avoiding injuries that could affect their health. You will also save money that would have been channeled towards treating injuries that prolong healing. The CDC claims falls are the most common cause of hospital admissions and non-fatal injuries among elderly adults.
Therefore, can falls among the elderly be prevented? Yes, it is possible to prevent falls in the bedroom for your loved one. You will need to understand the risk factors and implement strategies aimed at fall prevention. There are several safety strategies and rules in the bedroom for elderly people that you can implement into their daily life. Some of them include:
- 1Get an exercise program that can help build flexibility and strength. Some programs may include toe lifts, sit-to-stand, wall push-ups, and leg lifts.
- 2Liaise with a physician to understand the risk of tripping and falling your loved one.
- 3If your loved one is taking medication, review it with a physician to understand the possible side effects.
- 4Get the hearing and vision of your loved one checked every once in a while. Also, make sure they are generally in a good state of health.
- 5Make sure the senior has as much family and friend support as possible.
- 6Make sure you stick rugs down using carpet staples, tape, or glue. You can also get rid of the rugs altogether.
- 7Get rid of old furniture and ensure the bedroom is organized.
- 8Consider getting a bed with the right height. For instance, if an elderly person’s knees are above the hips when seated, the height is low. On the other hand, if their feet hardly touch the floor, the height is too high.
- 9Run extension cords behind furniture or use a power strip to plug several cords into one source.
Contrary to common opinion, trips and falls are preventable. Senior people can be prevented from falling. This can be done by lowering the risk factors that cause falls. The health of the elderly is usually very rickety and therefore, it will be crucial to prevent further problems as a result of injuries. This is because most of these injuries will prolong or fail to heal altogether.
Try to understand the level of risk your loved one is exposed to before taking any measures. Also, try to understand their level of mobility. If they can move around without much hardship, do not take drastic measures. However, if they are at high risk, use the methods listed to eliminate any potential harm.