Submitted by Heartland Health Care Center of Moline
Poor eyesight. Decreased hearing. Impaired balance. They are all common causes of unnecessary accidents. In fact, in-home trips and falls are the most common cause of serious injury in the aged, causing 6,500 deaths each year. However, many of these accidents are preventable with simple, inexpensive modifications to the home.
Seniors need to have their vision checked yearly. It takes more light for older adults to see as they did when they were younger. Depth perception decreases, as does the speed at which the eye adjusts from bright light to darkness. While the changes are gradual, they can impact daily routines. Simple accommodations, such as increasing the wattage in light bulbs is an easy first step to ensuring proper lighting. Assess whether lighting sources are in the appropriate places, such as above the kitchen counter where food is being prepared.
Stairs can be a particularly tough obstacle to navigate. Poorly lit, obstructed stairways can be hazardous at any age, and therefore having a light switch at the bottom and top of the stairs can be helpful. And, falls in the bathroom are particularly troublesome. Always use the hand rails getting in and out of the tub and watch for slippery floors outside the tub as well.
For a free brochure of additional safety tips, call Jodi Mines, Admissions Director, at 309-764-6744 or 309-756-8315. Heartland Health Care Center is located at 833 16th Ave., Moline, IL 61265.
Heartland Health Care Center, Moline, is part of the HCR ManorCare family. The HCR ManorCare health care family comprises centers that are leading providers of short-term post-acute services and long-term care. With 60,000 caregivers nationwide, the HCR ManorCare centers are preeminent care providers in their communities. Quality care for patients and residents is provided through a network of more than 500 skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities, outpatient rehabilitation clinics, and hospice and home health care agencies. These locations operate primarily under the respected Heartland, ManorCare Health Services and Arden Courts names.
Additional Tips to Prevent Falls:
- Be sure both sides of the stairways have handrails.
- Use only carpet which is tacked down. Get rid of those throw rugs!
- Arrange furniture so there are no obstacles.
- Do not use hallways or stairwells for storage.
- Use grab bars on bathroom walls, and non-skid mats or strips in the bathtub.
- Wear good shoes with non-skid soles.
- Allow yourself time to do what you must. Don’t hurry or run.
- Keep outdoor steps and walkways in good repair.
- Spread sand on icy walkways during winter.
- Remember, older people tend to become dizzy when standing too quickly. Rise slowly from a sitting or lying position.