Slipping at home may result in a mere bruise for most of us but for the elderly, a fall may result in a serious injury or may even be fatal.
This is why you should fall-proof your home especially if you have elderly at home.
Here are five things to take note of:
Steps and kerbs:
Many cases of elderly falls are caused by a missed step or tripping over kerbs. As most elderly suffer from impaired vision and mobility, and have a weaker sense of balance, having kerbs and steps around the house could pose as a safety hazard. The elderly may also find it harder to adjust to different ground levels, hence making navigating steps and kerbs more challenging.
Height of furniture and switches:
Did you know that it is common for an elderly to suffer from a weak gait and a poor sense of balance? Placing a switch at the wrong place or having to reach for toiletries placed too high or low can lead to falls. You may also consider ease of access for persons using a walking frame or wheelchair, as the choice of furniture may affect their ability to move around the home safely.
Brightness of place:
The lights in your home should not be too glaring or dim. You may consider placing night lights at strategic places, such as along the corridor or walkway to the toilet.
When deciding on your floor tile, furniture, or home fixtures, try to choose distinctive colours to help the elderly see and identify them clearly.
The colour of switches should be different from that of the wall to aid the elderly in locating them safely to turn on the light. Fixtures, such as wall clocks should also be of a different colour.
Floor rags, cables, kerbs, foot stools or side tables could pose as obstacles on the ground and should be placed at a safe location away from walking paths.
Grab bar placement:
Do you have grab bars at home? Is your grab bar placed at the right height and location? Are you having the right number of grab bars? Take into account the person’s height, mobility and needs of family members when installing grab bars around the house. Safety at home is important - not just for the elderly but for other family members too.
Do you live with an elderly and wish to make your home more elder-friendly? TOUCH Caregivers Support (TCG) provides a one-stop home modification service so that your loved ones can age safely at home.
Our therapists will:
- Conduct home visits to assess home environment, functional status and caregivers’ concerns
- Assess furniture layout, presence of obstacles and recommend solutions to increase accessibility and reduce falls risks
- Make a list of recommended changes and liaise with vendors to install grab bars and ramps
- Source for Government and other subsidies to fund home modification needs
- Facilitate permit approvals
- Prescribe assistive devices and train caregiver and elderly on the use
Let’s do what we can to create a safer home for our family. Call the TCG Care Line at 6804 6555 for a discussion today!
TOUCH Caregivers Support (TCG) was set up to help caregivers for older people cope with the challenges of caregiving. TCG also works closely with TOUCH Home Care’s (THC) trans-disciplinary team of doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and care coordinators to offer a suite of home-based care and support services. It also provides a one-stop service for home modifications to create a safer home environment for the elderly and their caregivers. Partnering THC, TCG is actively exploring efficient and sustainable care approaches through its Community Enablement Project to better meet the current and future needs of Singapore’s rapidly ageing population. In 2014, TCG received the Good Practice Award for its productivity and innovation as part of the Intermediate and Long-Term Care or ILTC Awards organised by the Agency for Integrated Care. Caregivers can visit www.touch.org.sg/caregivers for caregiver-related support and services.