Falling is a devastating problem for elderly people all over the world. In our first article in this series, we looked at how common it is for seniors to become seriously injured and emotionally traumatized after suffering a fall. We mentioned how a consultation with an experienced home care provider could be a great first step toward fall prevention. At these meetings, home care service providers offer a whole host of great ideas for families to implement in order to help keep their elderly loved ones safe from potential falls. Here are some of those helpful tips you may want to take advantage of on behalf of your aging family member.
Getting Rid of Clutter May Help Prevent a Fall
Elderly people sometimes end up accumulating a lot of unnecessary clutter in their homes. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they lack the energy or mental focus to be able to deal with home organization. Often they suffer from illnesses that make movement strenuous and painful. Throwing away junk mail, making sure dirty laundry is placed into hampers, and putting household items in their proper places are a few examples of seemingly simple chores that can become overwhelming tasks for some seniors.
If clutter is left lying around an older person’s home it can greatly increase their risk of suffering a fall. They can end up bumping into and tripping over those piles of papers or baskets of laundry. If you notice a lot of clutter on various surfaces and especially on the floor in your elderly loved one’s home, it’s time to step in and help them out.
Hire an Organization Specialist
Perhaps you’re a very organized person and you have extra time on your hands. If so, you could take on the task of clearing out the clutter and organizing your family member’s home on your own or with some other members of the family. If you aren’t organizationally skilled or you simply lack the time to get the job done well, you could call in a professional. Find a person who regularly works with elderly adults and helps them to get their homes free of unwanted clutter. Ideally, this will be someone who will come back to the home on a regular basis and make sure that everything is staying neat and well organized. They’ll be able to give helpful tips about re-homing unused items and putting useful belongings in easy to reach places. Often seniors are more open to hearing this type of advice from a professional organizer than from their own family members.
Decluttering your elderly loved one’s home is just one step in reducing their risk of falling. In our next article, we’ll take a look at some other practical ways you can increase their level of safety and security. We will focus on some specific items you’ll want to consider removing from the home in order to help prevent falls. Some common household items pose risks that often go unrecognized until it’s too late.