It’s unanimous. 100% of emergency room doctors in the United States surveyed by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network, say it’s important that adult children dedicate one day a year to perform a safety check of their senior loved one’s home. Yet in the last year, less than half of family caregivers surveyed had done so.
The research suggests a lack of knowledge and attention to potential home safety issues that could lead to danger and the risk of accidents and falls in an older adult’s home. Each year, more than 1.6 million older U.S. adults go to emergency departments for fall-related injuries, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The survey found that:
o 33% of seniors’ trips to the hospital and ER are caused by falls and other accidents in the home.
o 48% of home accidents experienced by seniors could be prevented.
o 85% of seniors have done nothing to prepare their homes for aging.
o Injuries are most likely to happen in bathrooms and bedrooms.
o It’s very important for families of seniors to invest in basic home safety modifications.
o Having additional help around the house can help prevent accidents and injuries from occurring.
The Making Home Safer for Seniors program educates families about the in-home hazards that could threaten a senior’s independence and offers resources to help seniors age safely in place. Home Safety tools and other resources can be found at MakingHomeSaferForSeniors.com.
The most common issues identified in the research as:
o Throw rugs that pose potential tripping hazards
o No grab bars (e.g. in the shower)
o Kitchen storage that is too high or low
o Inadequate lighting
As part of the Making Home Safer for Seniors program, your local Home Instead Senior Care office is offering free home safety checks for area seniors. If you would like a representative from our office to come to your senior’s home to help identify potential hazards and possible fixes, please contact us at 541-734-2700 in Medford, and 541-479-2828 in Grants Pass.