Each year, nearly 33 percent of seniors’ trips to the hospital and emergency room are caused by falls and other accidents at the home. Many emergency room (ER) physicians believe there are very serious risk factors for injuries or accidents at home including poor eyesight, dementia, impaired motor skills and mobility problems.
According to a recent survey of emergency room doctors, almost half of all home accidents by seniors (48 percent) can be avoided. Preventable home hazards, such as throw rugs or loose railings, can be particularly harmful, leading to falls and injuries that can impact seniors’ ability to live independently.
For example, installing a nightlight in the bedroom or rope lighting for hallways could help those seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, who may become confused at night and have difficulty getting to the bathroom.
47 percent of ER physicians said the most common response from families when a senior visits the ER due to a home accident is, “I was afraid something like this would happen.” Senior home safety experts recommend that adult children of seniors take at least one day each year to perform a thorough safety check of their parents’ home.
To help with this problem, senior care experts at Dresher Home Instead Senior Care office serving Montgomery County will be offering free in-home safety checks throughout the month of June to help seniors reduce the risk of injury in their own homes.
In addition to these safety checks, support resources are also available online at www.makinghomesaferforseniors.com, including a free home safety checklist, online safety assessment, five fixes under $500, and recommendations for inexpensive modifications that could ensure the safety of older loved ones.