Whole Home Blog

Falling - How to Prevent Future Accidents

Posted on June 16, 2014 by kim

Had a Fall?

Chances are, you or someone you know has fallen.  One of every three seniors over the age of 65 will experience a fall in the next year.  A trip to the emergency room alone carries a price tag of about $1,800, and the expense can easily increase to ten times that amount if the patient is admitted to the hospital.  Even if the doctors and nurses manage to fix the patient up as good as new, the effects of a fall far outlast the physical injury.  Such an event can and often does result in an erosion of confidence and increased embarrassment about the situation.

Although this statistic about the frequency of falls is indeed a cause for concern, many individuals will not dwell on the possibility for severe injury until either they or someone they love experiences a fall, thus forcing them to take action.  What resources are available now for you to prevent a serious accident from occurring?

Now What? 

The good news is there are indeed resources available for you to increase your personal safety without compromising the character of your home.  Manufacturers of safety and home modification products have developed new devices that are functional, attractive, and affordable, so you can choose what works best for you and your family’s needs and budget.

To begin your journey of environmental improvements, contact a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) who has been trained to assess the situation alongside your medical professionals, caregivers and family members, and to offer a choice of short and long-term remedies.  He or she will visit the home, usually at no charge, to guide you through the process.  Fortunately, there are many choices available for individuals to continue living safely in place while preventing future accidents.

Accessible Bathroom with Grab BarsSince the majority of falls occur in the bathroom, changes may be needed here to make bathing easier and a more pleasant experience.  The solution may be as simple as installing a couple of safety bars in your bathroom.  Grab or safety bars now come in a variety of colors and styles, so many do not have the institutional appearance. 

Beyond grab bars, other products are available to increase mobility.  Perhaps you will want to look into items that can provide support when getting in and out of bed or your favorite easy chair.  As for safe access into and out of the house, portable and temporary modular ramps are an effective solution.  These can be purchased or rented, depending on your needs.  Be sure to follow the local building code when installing any access ramp.  

Don’t wait until a crisis event, like a fall, happens.  Explore your options now so you can make the best decisions with and for your loved ones.

Whole Home Modifications, a service of People Working Cooperatively, is backed by more than 25 years of experience helping seniors age in place, and can help seniors and their loved ones make the needed adjustments in order to remain safely living at home.  Whole Home offers free in-home assessments, led by Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists, to help determine if modifications are necessary, and which modifications would be to the homeowner’s benefit based on individual situations.  For more information, visit www.wholehome.org or call 513-482-5100


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