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COLUMN: Senior living - Assess hazards in home to prevent falls

— Silver Fox Senior Social Club’s goal is to keep seniors in their own homes safely and independently in the community for as long as possible. Unfortunately, elders fall while in their own homes every day, leading to injuries that perhaps could have been prevented.

It is easy to overlook hazards in the home, but having a check list to look over multiple times a month can help keep your loved ones safe from falling in their homes. Here are some important things to keep in mind when assessing a home to prevent falls:

Inadequate lighting

Keep lights on in rooms that you are walking through. The lighting in your home must be bright so you can avoid tripping over objects that are not easy to see. Consider a nightlight for dark passageways.

Sliding throw rugs

Check all rugs/mats to make sure they are slip-resistant. Consider either buying new rugs with non-slip backing or applying nonskid matting to backs of existing rugs to make them secure. Use carpet tape to keep carpet edges from curling up.

Clutter

Make sure all stairways are clutter free. Keep all objects off of the stairs. Keep a clear path from the bedroom to the bathroom. Keep cords out of the walking path in all rooms.

According to Physical Therapist Becky Auyer PT CM, “Onondaga County has one of the highest rates of deaths from falls in our state. We all need to be part of the solution to prevent our older adults from experiencing falls in their homes. Taking a small amount of time to assess your home or having a professional help you make necessary changes will go a long way in changing that statistic.”

Owner of Inspire Care of CNY, Auyer works in the area and is trained to assess your home for fall hazards and make it safe for your loved one. You can contact her at 447-3164 for a home assessment.

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