Healthy Living: Senior safety tips
As people age, the risk for falling increases. In this edition of Healthy Living, Marcie Fraser gives senior household safety tips.
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As people age their risk of falling increases and nearly half of the falls occur at the home.
"I fell a few weeks ago. I was in the hospital."
"Like many other older adults, Gloria Krimmer experiences dizziness from medicine she's taking.
Krimmer said, "I walked into the bathroom, got dizzy, hit my head against the wall and fell to the ground."
The bathroom is the most common area where falls occur. Homes should be evaluated for hazards by a family member or better yet, an occupation therapist. Many toilets are too low to be safe, raising the toilet seats makes them safer.
Lynda Shrager, a Geriatric Occupational Therapist said, “There are so many different kinds. Some snap right on to the toilet itself, some have lever you turn it, depends on the kind that you buy."
A common tripping hazard are bath mats. A twist test determines if it’s safe, if it moves, it's not. High tub walls can be made safer with a transfer bench. For stability a suction grab bar is a necessity, they can be adhered to the inside of your shower but be sure the surface is clean and smooth.
"Acrylic tub is the best kind of surface for that. If it's marble or tile, as long as it is very big squares so that the heads of the grab bar do not touch any bump or grout line you are fine,” said Shrager.
Bath tubs or showers that have glass whether it's a door or slider, are a major health risks. You need to remove it especially if it's a sliding glass door, replace it with a nice shower curtain.
Hate using a transfer chair because water tends to splash outside of the tub? Here's an easy fix.
Shrager said, "The trick is that you buy an inexpensive inner bath liner, you put it up in front of your nice, pretty shower curtain, close the liner, slit half way up where the chair is and tuck it in the grooves of the chair and the inner liner is completely inside the tub."